The need & deserve all the help they can get

Teachers & special educational needs (SEN) support staff can now apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1m to develop their specialist knowledge & skills.  The application window for the fourth round closes on 30 May 2014.

In the second press release: Over 1.5m children & young people to benefit from special educational needs & disability (SEND) pathfinder champions.  Groups of councils across the country have been announced as pathfinder champions for the government’s SEND reforms.  The champions will help teams in their neighbouring councils prepare for the changes, which will give thousands of families greater control over the support they receive.

The government has recently announced the biggest transformation to SEND support for 30 years which will give families more personalised care & assistance, helping the 1.55m children & young people in England who have special educational needs.  It will mean a new, joined-up approach from birth to 25, ensuring that support is made available at the earliest possible point.  Children & young people will be fully involved in decisions about their care & what they want to achieve, and new education, health & care (EHC) plans are being introduced for those with more complex needs.

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Continuous Improvement: A Day in the Life...
Does your organisation ever experience…
  • Process backlogs, delays answering calls or unmanageable peaks in demand?
  • Falling customer satisfaction, missed service standards or slow response to customer demand?
  • Increasing headcount, more overtime costs or a reliance on temporary staff?
  • Rising complaints, more errors or reduced service quality?
  • Capital projects that don’t meet the needs of the business, cost more than was planned or arrive late?

With greater demand from central government to reduce costs, do more, faster with fewer resources and still provide excellent customer service you might want help to achieve this difficult balance.

ChangeWise provides continuous improvement training and change management experience to engage, train and coach your people to use simple tools and techniques to improve their workplace, embed successful changes and adapt to this challenging economic environment.

Click here to download our paper on 'Continuous Improvement: A day in the life...'

Time for a ‘healthy’ change

The report, ‘Time for a Peoples’ Ombudsman’, published by the Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC), calls for a ‘People’s Ombudsman’ and says the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), which investigates complaints against the NHS and other government departments & agencies, is outdated.  Citizens should have direct & more user-friendly access to the Ombudsman.  It should also have ‘own-initiative’ powers to investigate problems in government departments, agencies and the NHS.

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A case of 3+1 = 5

Scotland can do more, reach further & aim higher on the international stage as part of the UK, Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland said when speaking as the UK Government released its latest ‘In The Know’ factsheets detailing the strong & clear global influence enjoys as part of the UK.

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Even though the proposed FTT will have the greatest impact on the UK

The Court of Justice has dismissed the action brought by the United Kingdom against the decision authorising 11 Member States to establish enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax.

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It might have stopped raining for now, but it still a ‘dangerous’ world

A report published by Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy says that recent events in Ukraine and the winter flooding in the UK underline the importance of long term & strategic thinking in Government.

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Keeping our ‘seat at the top table’ cannot be done just with force of arms

A strategic & well-articulated vision of the UK’s position in the world and the level of influence it is able to exert would lead to more rational decisions on whether or not to intervene, as well as a better public understanding of the rationale for any such future decision.  It would also assist in identifying the strategic objective of such operations, contributing to a more coherent UK foreign, defence and security policy.

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One can now call free

People looking for medical help & advice can now contact NHS 24 by calling 111.  It means callers in Scotland will no longer be charged when calling NHS 24 from a landline or mobile.  NHS 24 will continue to deliver the same service for anyone seeking advice & support during the out of hours period until their GP surgery reopens.

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Timing is everything when it comes to successful projects

The Skills Funding Agency’s National Apprenticeship Service has launched its latest sector in the spotlight film.  The film, which focuses on Higher Apprenticeships in Project Management, is available at apprentice.tv and on the Apprenticeships YouTube channel.  It shows how apprentices are playing an active role in key project management duties including planning, allocating resources & tasks and completing documentation.  PMHA is suitable for employers in a wide range of industries, such as consultancy, logistics and manufacturing.

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A challenging role

Adverts for the next Children’s Commissioner of Wales say that the successful applicant ‘must be able to work effectively with children & young people, to represent their interests at local, national and international levels with a range of organisations’.  Closing date for applications is 19 May 2014.

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‘Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies’, or updated; ‘Who Monitors the media & prevents bias’?

The credibility of an ‘impartiality review’ giving the BBC's EU coverage a clean bill of health has allegedly been seriously undermined by a study ‘exposing flaws in its research methods and questioning its independence’.

Last year's Prebble report was seized on by the BBC Trust as evidence that the corporation's programmes take in an ‘impressive’ breadth of opinion on stories about the EU, immigration & religion.  But a new Civitas study alleges that the review's independence was ‘severely compromised by incestuous ties between its authors, the BBC and the EU’ and that there were ‘also failings in the data analysis’.

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Cultural Events: When & Where they are at this year

Following its success supporting nearly 4,500 cultural events planned in the capital during the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Culture Diary has now gone from a London tool to a global tool, bought together through a unique collaboration between Arts Council England, British Council, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, GREAT Britain campaign, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Mayor of London, Visit Britain and UK Trade & Investment.

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Overcoming the odds

Over 25 potential competitors for the Invictus Games in September met recently with Prince Harry at Tedworth House Recovery Centre to mark the start of the British armed forces selection process for the sporting event.

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When minutes count

A deal to allow schools to buy defibrillator machines at a reduced price will be sealed in time for the autumn term, the Department for Education has announced.  A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock and can make a difference between life & death.  DfE has also published new statutory guidance & advice for schools on supporting pupils with medical conditions.

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Holy fund to fill holes in roof

Church of England and Catholic cathedrals in England can apply to new fund for urgent repair work.  Grants from the £20m fund, which was announced by the Chancellor at Budget 2014, will allow cathedrals to undertake urgent repair work, including keeping the building wind-proof, weather-tight, safe & open to the public, and preventing further deterioration of the building.

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Best ‘renewal of building life’

Has a historic landmark you know been rescued from ruin?  Or a listed building been beautifully repaired and put to new use?  If you, or anyone you know, have been involved in rescuing a historic building, monument or site, then Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Telegraph and English Heritage would love you to enter for the English Heritage Angel Awards 2014.  You have from now until the 1 June 2014.

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