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10 DS: Could do better, but trying to attain ‘standards’ required? - The Government has issued its Mid-Term Review, taking stock of progress made in implementing the Coalition agreement signed in May 2010. The review reflects on the Government’s progress in ‘building a stronger, more balanced economy and a fair society in which everyone can rise as high as their aspirations and talents take them’.
The Review also highlights a new set of reforms to ‘secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions’. Meanwhile, reforms to provide dignity in old age have been outlined, including an improved state pension that rewards saving and more help with the costs of long-term care.
DH: A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips! - A new campaign exposing the ‘hidden nasties’ in everyday foods and helping people to be ‘food smart’ has been launched. Graphic new advertising from Change4Life reveals a shocking 17 sugar cubes in a bottle of cola and over a wine glass of fat in a large pizza.
There will also be hundreds of offers on healthier products at more than 1,000 ASDA, ALDI & the Co-Operative Food stores across the country to give a helping hand with the cost of kitchen cupboard basics. Everyone that signs up to the campaign will get a FREE ‘Food Smart Meal Mixer’ with lots of quick, easy, healthier recipes, with enough combinations to eat a different daily menu every day for 6 years.
MoJ: Time to try something else - The reforms for tackling re-offending & managing offenders in the community have been set out by Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling. Consistently high re-offending rates have led to the radical overhaul with almost half of all prison-leavers re-offending within 12 months - for those serving less than a year that figure rises to almost 58%. 500,000 crimes are committed by convicted crooks each year.
Under plans laid out in the consultation 'Transforming Rehabilitation', a new refocused & streamlined public sector service will be tasked with keeping the public safe from the most dangerous & high-risk offenders. Private & voluntary sector organisations will work together on closing the 'revolving door' of the criminal justice system by tackling lower risk offenders. Consultation closes on 22 February 2013.
PC&PE: Some battle skills of the future will be much less physical , but no less deadly - The Government must be more vigorous in its approach to cyber security, says the Defence Committee. Their latest report notes that cyber threats can evolve with almost unimaginable speed and serious consequences for the nation’s security.
Evidence received by the Committee suggested that in the event of a sustained cyber attack the ability of the Armed Forces to operate effectively could be fatally compromised due to their dependence on information & communication technology. The Committee probed MoD witnesses about its backup systems in these circumstances.
IME: ‘Global War on Want’ should heed old saying ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ - A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that as much as 50% of all food produced around the world never reaches a human stomach due to issues as varied as inadequate infrastructure & storage facilities through to overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food.
With UN predictions that there could be about an extra 3bn people to feed by the end of the century and an increasing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the Institution is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.
NSPCC: Scale of Savile's alleged abuse ‘Simply Beggared Belief’ - The Metropolitan Police Service and the NSPCC have published their joint report into sexual allegations made against Jimmy Savile. The report, 'Giving Victims a Voice', details the work of Operation Yewtree based on the accounts of the hundreds of victims who have come forward since Jimmy Savile was exposed as an alleged sex offender in October 2012.
WAG: Let's hear about modern day 'Florences' - An awards scheme to recognise the joint efforts of the NHS and the military for their treatment & care of the armed forces has been launched. The UK-wide Military & Civilian Health Partnership Awards celebrate the work of Britain’s military & heath care workers and are open to civilian health staff & military medics working within the Defence Medical Services, the NHS, and private or voluntary sectors. Nominations close on 21 February 2013.
DfE: Calling all budding young poets - The poems of John Donne, Lord Byron & Sylvia Plath are among those included in an anthology for a new national poetry competition which launched in schools & colleges last week. The full anthology is available on Poetry By Heart's website.
The website also contains competition information for schools, material about poems & performances, and teaching resources. The National poetry competition is open to schools & colleges in England only. To register, schools should email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0117 905 5338. The final stage of the competition will be a ‘finals weekend’ based on regional heats, which will lead to a grand final held at the National Portrait Gallery in April 2013.
Press release & links
UKAS: Acreditation – Supporting Efficient Policy Delivery - The use of accreditation, as a tool for the efficient delivery of policy and regulation, continues to grow.
As the national accreditation body, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) provides accreditation to underpin public confidence in an ever-widening range of policy areas. Could you make better use of the services provided by UKAS?
To help answer this question, UKAS has released a new edition of Accreditation Matters, an information leaflet for policy officials. Accreditation Matters Issue 9 provides information on UKAS and accreditation in general plus case studies on the use of accreditation in new areas such as physiological diagnostics, self-certification for the Building Regulations, inspection of equipment for new and existing nuclear plants and combating Legionella.
Click here to learn more about how accreditation can help you deliver your policy objectives, click the link below to download your copy of Accreditation Matters.
Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive