DfE: The Department for Education has announced plans for significant reductions in the bureaucracy that controls how schools manage teacher performance and deal with poorly performing teachers (consultation closes 16 August 2011). The proposed changes will make it easier for schools to manage teachers and deal effectively with the small number of poorly performing teachers.
Press release & links ~ Proposed changes to performance management & capability arrangements for teachers
DH: Improving vaccine uptake rates for at-risk groups and keeping a reserve of flu vaccine to ensure a reliable & safe supply are among measures set out in the first seasonal flu plan published by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, last week for consultation together with a consultation reviewing the procurement of seasonal vaccine (closes 17 August 2011).
The aim of the plan is to learn from the experiences of last year’s flu season and prevent the vaccine shortages that arose in some surgeries due to localised surges in demand.  The plan also includes a new emphasis on planning for different scenarios according to the nature & scale of illness to help minimise the health impacts of seasonal flu. It sets out a co-ordinated & evidence based approach to planning for the next flu season.
Press release & links ~ Consultation ~ Seasonal flu plan Winter 2011/12 ~ Related HPA PR
DfE: Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP, has launched a consultation (closes on Friday 19 August 2011) to make the school admissions process simpler, fairer & more transparent for all parents. Together the 2 current codes stretch to more than 130 pages and impose more than 600 mandatory requirements on admissions authorities (local authorities, governing bodies or Academy Trusts).  
The process is complex, confusing, costly & unfair.  The current Admissions Code and Appeals Code undermine parental choice. The proposed changes would see 2 new codes created containing around half as many requirements. Following the consultation period, the draft codes will be laid before parliament.  The new codes will not affect the next admissions round (for entry in September 2012) but will take effect for the September 2013 intake.
Press release ~ New admissions code: more places in good schools, a fairer & simpler system
Deloitte: Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has opened its annual survey of UK entrepreneurs for its report: ‘Entrepreneurship UK: 2011/12’. Now in its fourth year, Entrepreneurship UK has become a leading report reflecting the current attitudes, performance & objectives of entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The survey is open until the end of July 2011 and takes just 10 minutes to complete. The results, which will be analysed by Deloitte and the London Business School, will be published in late summer.  Each entrepreneur participating in the survey will receive a copy of the ‘Entrepreneurship UK: 2011/12’ report.
Press release & links
EU News: Last week the European Commission published its report on ‘progress achieved in the Common Fisheries Policy over the last few years and its suggestions for fishing opportunities in EU waters in 2012’.  The document sets out how the Commission intends to act on the scientific advice it receives about the state of fish stocks when proposing catch limits and quotas for next year.
The latest figures show that the state of fish stocks in European waters is slowly improving, but sufficient scientific data is still missing for the majority of the stocks, mainly due to inadequate reporting by Member States.  The Commission will therefore be using a new method for setting fishing limits, notably cutting levels where insufficient data exist.  
The Commission's ideas will now be the object of a wide consultation (closes on1 September 2011) and input will feed into its proposals for fishing opportunities for next year which will be adopted in the autumn.
Press release & links ~ International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) ~ Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA)
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