Consultations

QCA: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has launched a public consultation (closes on Friday 9 July 2009) on A level mathematics criteria.  As the government agency for the development of qualifications, QCA is working with DCELLS in Wales and CCEA in Northern Ireland on criteria for revised A levels to start when the current specifications are no longer available.
 
QCA has worked with subject experts & representatives from the mathematics community, including teachers, subject associations, universities and awarding bodies, to develop draft criteria for consultation.  Any individuals or organisations interested in the content of criteria for A levels in mathematics can contribute their views.
 
It is proposed that new specifications in mathematics and further mathematics will be taught from September 2012 and new specifications in use of mathematics and use of statistics will be taught from September 2011.
Press release ~ View the draft A level subject criteria and consultation questionnaires
 
Monitor: Foundation Trust governors now have the opportunity to comment on a new document designed to help them exercise their statutory duties.  The guide has been issued for consultation (closes on Monday 13 July 2009) by Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts.
 
In 2007 Monitor commissioned research to investigate how well governors were performing in their new role and what challenges they faced.  The findings underpin the guide that has been issued for consultation. It looks at what the statutory powers and duties of governors are, what is required of governors in relation to them and in practice how governors can best meet these challenges.  Monitor intends to publish the final report and a summary of the consultation responses by the end of the summer.
Press release ~ Guide for NHS foundation trust governors: meeting your statutory responsibilities ~ Existing Reports / Guidance for Governors
 
Defra: The draft Flood and Water Management Bill, designed to improve how we prepare for & respond to flood emergencies and better protect water supplies during drought, has been published for public consultation (closes on 24 July 2009).
 
As well as improving the management of flood risk by clearly defining roles & responsibilities for those involved in flood risk management, the draft Bill also includes measure to better protect the supply of water during drought.
 
Parts of England are already water stressed and the impacts of both climate change and a rising population will increase demands for more, or better, water & sewerage infrastructure and mean that the management of water as a precious resource must be improved.
Press release ~ Consultation ~ Defra - Flood and Water Management Bill ~ Pitt review of the floods in Summer 2007 and government response ~ Flood Forecasting Centre for England and Wales
 
DfT: New measures to ensure all roads have the right speed limit and the formation of a new expert panel to investigate road safety are part of government plans to cut road deaths by a third by 2020 and make Britain's roads the safest in the world. Consultation on the proposals ends 14 July 2009.
 
The way people learn to drive and how they are tested is also set for major reform in response to the Learning to Drive consultation conducted last year.  A new road safety qualification will offer young people a partial credit towards their car theory test, while the learning process and the theory & practical tests will all be improved.  Van drivers also will be given the chance to enhance the skills they need for their work through a new qualification.
 
The DSA has also published a consultation (closes on 20 July 2009) document - An abridged theory test for learner car drivers - seeking views on the proposed reduced fee of £24 for the abridged theory test.
 
Later this week, the DfT will launch the first phase of the new THINK! road safety education programme, with resources, activities & materials for early-years and upper- primary children, teachers , parents and Road Safety professionals.
Press release ~ Think! Road Safety Education ~ Draft road safety strategy for 2010-2020 - A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain's Roads the Safest in the World ~ DSA: Learning to Drive: Report on Consultation ~ DSA: Learning to Drive: Report on Consultation
 
SAP: The Sentencing Advisory Panel has published a consultation (closes on 15 July 2009) paper relating to the sentencing of the most commonly committed drug offences.  One of the most fundamental issues the Panel asks the public to consider is the relative seriousness of drug offences compared with other forms of offending behaviour, in particular with violent offences, sexual offences and offences of dishonesty.

Currently, Crown Courts impose higher sentences in the most serious cases of supplying drugs than they do for cases of rape of an adult, for the most serious cases of assault and for causing death by dangerous driving.  
Research suggests that drug barons are more concerned about the loss of their assets than the threat of imprisonment, so the Panel is proposing more extensive use of confiscation orders which not only can recover the proceeds of crime, but can also remove legitimate assets from drug offenders.
Press release ~ Consultation paper on sentencing of drug offences ~ Drugs consultation paper - Annex B (xls) ~ SAP
 
HO: An extra £5m to protect the public from the threat of terrorist attacks in crowded places has been announced by Security Minister Lord West. The funding comes as a public consultation (closes on 10 July 2009) is published on how local authorities, businesses, the police and communities can work together to better secure the places where we live, work and play – See ‘In the News’ section for more information.
Reduced financial uncertainty for customers and significant financial savings for Councils.