DCSF: A consultation has been launched by Schools Minister Iain Wright on the National Commissioning Framework (NCF) 2011/12.  The NCF will set out how the new system for planning, commissioning, procuring and funding education & training for those aged 16 to 19, for young people aged up to 25 with a learning difficulty assessment and for young offenders in youth custody will operate.
A draft version of the NCF, which has been developed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) with REACT and other key stakeholders, has been published for consultation.  The deadline for comments & feedback is 5 February 2010.  The draft will then be reviewed & revised, with a final version due to be published by the YPLA in April 2010 as part of their statutory guidance.
Press release ~ Consultation draft ~ National Commissioning Framework (NCF) 2011/12 ~ ‘Outline and Principles’ ~ Learning and Skills Council (LSC) ~ ‘React’ (Raising Expectations Action) Programme ~ Apprenticeships, Schools, Children and Learners Bill ~ YPLA
BIS: Guidelines to ensure robust scientific & engineering advice to Government are the subject of a consultation launched by the Government Office for Science.  The consultation (closes on 9 February 2010) provides an opportunity for scientists, academics & members of the public to help revise the guidelines (last updated in 2005).  These will set out the way Government departments obtain & use scientific advice and underpin the Government’s commitment to evidence-based policy making.
Alongside this formal consultation, Lord Drayson will lead work with scientific advisors, the learned societies, scientists, science journalists and Government colleagues over the coming weeks to outline principles for independent scientific advice which will underpin the relationship between Government & scientists.  These will be published before the end of the year and will feed into the guidelines consultation.
Press release ~ Government Office for Science ~ Guidelines on Scientific Analysis in Policy Making – a consultation ~ Current Guidelines
CLG: Housing & Planning Minister John Healey has launched measures intended to cut carbon emissions by overhauling the planning system. In proposals published for consultation (closes on 9 February 2010), homeowners, developersand businesses will be able to install their own on-site wind turbines and air source heat pumps, without the expense & red tape of planning permission.
The new rules would also allow councils & electric car drivers to install electric car charger points on streets & in car parks without needing to make a planning application. However, the relaxation of the planning rules would come with strict caveats about size, noise levels, location and the visual impact on an area.
Press release ~ Permitted development rights for small scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure: Consultation ~ Clean energy cashback scheme ~ Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) ~ 2007 Planning White Paper, Planning for a Sustainable Future ~ Microgeneration Certification Scheme ~ DECC: Microgeneration ~ Microgeneration Action Plan for Wales ~ Energy Efficiency and Microgeneration: Achieving a Low Carbon Future: A Strategy for Scotland: The Scottish Government Response
LLUKLifelong Learning UK is currently reviewing the National Occupational Standards for Learning and Development.  The Standards were last updated by ENTO in 2001 and the suite will be reviewed to ensure they are 'fit for purpose' and still reflect the functions for which they were written.  As part of this review the current qualifications including the Assessor and Verifier awards are also being reviewed.
A period of open consultation on the draft new Standards and the proposed new qualification has opened (closes on 4 December 2009).  During this period there will be a number of opportunities for those that use these Standards to provide feedback which will include facilitated events, e-consultation and opportunities to hold your own events.
Press release ~ Learning and Development Standards Review - Open Consultation Events ~ Review - Open Consultation
WAG: Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas has launched the Green Paper on ‘Paying for Care in Wales, which sets out proposals for reforming the current system of paying for care & support for disabled & older people who need it. The consultation closes on 28 February 2010 – See ‘In the News’ section for more information.
A Connected World: Download this latest white paper here