DfE: Five years ago I couldn’t even spell the word ‘Engineer’, now I are one - Education Minister, Elizabeth Truss, has claimed that a ‘rigorous new spelling, grammar & punctuation test would raise standards for all children’. The new test – made up of a 45-minute grammar test and a separate 15-minute spelling test of 20 words – was taken for the first time last week, by around 600,000 11-year-olds.
Children have been tested on whether they can:
* spell some of the most commonly misspelt words – including separate, preferred & necessary
* punctuate sentences properly – including the use of colons, ellipses and apostrophes
* use grammar correctly – including the use of subordinate clauses and a range of connectives
Statistics for writing in 2012 showed that:
* almost 100,000 7-year-olds were below the expected level (17%)
* about 125,000 11-year-olds were below the expected level (23%)
The Department for Education has already made changes so that from this summer there will be marks awarded for spelling, punctuation & grammar in key subjects at GCSE.
Unite: Social mobility is an essential element of a evolving democratic society - 'Charities should stop exploiting unpaid interns and pay them the national minimum wage, otherwise working for voluntary organisations will become the preserve of a wealthy elite’.
This call came last week in a new report called: Interns in the voluntary sector – time to end exploitation from Unite, the union, and Intern Aware, an organisation campaigning for fair, paid internships and against exploitation.
Unite research found that more than a third of the top 50 charity employers in England & Wales did not pay their interns (based on Charity Commission data from 2013). Unite said that charities should follow the example of such ‘good’ employers as Clinks, a support group for offenders & their families; the Methodist church; and the National Housing Federation which paid a proper rate for the job for interns.
The report calls for interns to be paid the national minimum wage, currently £6.19 an hour for those over 21; and the re-introduction of paid entry level jobs to expand the social diversity of job applicants. The report said: “Unpaid internships in the third sector breeds elitism, and only provides guaranteed access to jobs for those who can afford to work for free for anything from three to 12 months. ….. the sector …… runs the risk of becoming a sector reserved for those from wealthy backgrounds.”
TKF: Integrate or collapse? - Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund has responded to Care & Support Minister, Norman Lamb’s, announcement on joined up health & social care:
EU News: A key element of integrated services - Prizes have been awarded to eHealth SMEs from Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Kingdom as part of eHealth Week 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.
The winners of the 2nd EU SME eHealth Competition came up with innovations in areas such as:
* improving cognitive behavioural therapy for mental care
* improving physiological monitoring
* people facing emergencies
The UK-based winner in the ‘Champion category’ was UK Preventive Medicine for; The Prevention Plan - A Comprehensive Care Co-Production System.
Cebr: It sounds like an easy choice - The UK’s GDP could be up to 5% higher if our infrastructure matched that of our overseas competitors. That is the headline finding of a report (Securing Our Economy: The Case For Infrastructure) identifying the impact new infrastructure has on the wider economy from leading business analysts the Centre for Economic & Business Research on behalf of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).
STFC: Apple for Student rather than Teacher - The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory is asking Year 9 students to tell them their answers! In the 2013 School Science Prize, students must write 500 words on ‘Why I love Science’. A selected group of finalists will be invited to an evening event at the Daresbury Laboratory on 11 July 2013 where they will be required to speak for 2 minutes and answer questions on the same topic.
The overall winner will receive an Apple iPad as their prize. This year there is a special category for the ‘innovative entry’ who will win an Asus Fonepad (brand new to market), kindly donated by Intel, one of STFC's partners. The closing date for entries is Friday 7 June 2013.
EU Balance of Competence Review(s): Where should the balance of power(s) be? - The government has published calls for evidence on the balance of competence between the UK and the EU on:
* Civil judicial cooperation (including family matters)
* Culture, sport & tourism sectors
* Free Movement of Persons
See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
Enterprise Search Whitepaper: Speedier, More Accurate Results and Bye-Bye to Bandwidth Bottlenecks! - Widespread use of enterprise collaboration platforms such as Huddle and SharePoint across all UK Government and public sector organisations provides for effective and efficient management and collaboration of large documents, reports etc.
However, when it comes to the retrieval of these, the search process is much less efficient – to validate that the search has found the right document it will have to be downloaded and then read to confirm its accuracy. The negative effect of this entirely avoidable process is two-fold as it takes up increasingly valuable staff-time and resource, as well as creating additional costs due to spiralling bandwidth requirements.
A recently produced paper explains how the most recent advances in enterprise search technology can deliver proven efficiencies and tangible public sector savings by reducing bandwidth usage by as much as 90% and resource/staff-time required by up to a third.
Simply click here on the link below to receive your free copy.
Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive