Ofsted: Improving Literacy Standards could lead to a NEET solution - Ofsted has published its best practice report ‘Improving Standards in Literacy: A shared responsibility’. This survey report draws on visits to secondary schools that have been effective in delivering cross-curricular improvement in literacy.
Ofsted has also hosted the first of 3 conferences on Mathematics & English for teachers, heads and governors to support improvement in schools & academies, and to help accelerate pupil progress & raise attainment. During the conference, inspectors shared evidence of what works well and shared strategies for improvement.
DWP: Given the right help most people want to support themselves - More people with mental health conditions have been supported at or into work by a government employment scheme. According to statistics released last week, almost half of all people with mental health conditions using the specialist disability employment scheme Access to Work (A2W) last year did so for the first time.
A2W provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, such as support workers, travel costs & specially adapted equipment. Recent changes to the scheme also mean that:
* Businesses with up to 49 employees will no longer pay a contribution towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work, saving them up to £2,300 per employee who uses the fund
* Disabled jobseekers who want to set up their own business through the New Enterprise Allowance will now be eligible for A2W funding from day one of receiving Job Seekers Allowance
The Government has already announced £15m additional funding for A2W and the extension of the support to young people taking part in work experience through the Youth Contract. Anyone interested in applying for this support can search the ‘A2W website to find out details of DWP contact centres.
DH: Time to ‘fill in’ the gaps of legislation covering cosmetic surgery - An independent review of cosmetic surgery recommends better regulation, better training & proper redress if things go wrong. The main actions that the review group says would contribute to a successful & safe cosmetic surgery industry include:
* making all dermal fillers prescription only
* ensuring all practitioners are properly qualified for all the procedures they offer
* an ombudsman to oversee all private health care including cosmetic procedures
Ofsted: In some parts of the world ‘boredom’ is a luxury children have no time to ‘enjoy’ - More local activities and places to go would stop children & young people from breaking the law. This was the message from 187 children & young people who are either living in care or in a secure training centre when asked for their views on keeping out of trouble by Roger Morgan, the Children’s Rights Director for England.
The report Keeping out of trouble summarises the discussions held with children & young people on what the worst kinds of trouble are and how to avoid getting into them.
HMRC: Those who don’t ask, won't get - Tax Credit customers are being reminded by HMRC that they must renew claims by 31 July 2013 or their payments might stop.
MO: Which is worse; Sneezing or Freezing? - Following the cold weather in March & early April, the pollen season has now begun, with tree pollen set to last until the middle of May. Throughout the season, Met Office forecasters will be working closely with the University of Worcester and Pollen UK to provide the most accurate pollen forecasts for the UK.
BIS: A case of ‘Not if, but when’ your organisation’s ICT systems are breached - More small businesses than ever are facing the threat of losing confidential information through cyber attacks, according to research published by BIS.
The 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey has shown that 87% of small businesses across all sectors experienced a breach in the last year. This is up more than 10% and cost small businesses up to 6% of their turnover, when they could protect themselves for far less.
This comes as the Technology Strategy Board extends its Innovation Vouchers scheme to allow SMEs to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500k pot to improve their cyber security, by bringing in outside expertise.
BIS is also publishing guidance to help small businesses to put cyber security higher up the agenda and make it part of their normal business risk management procedures.
Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive