General News

UKOCDo you think you could use baking to help some of your learners gain confidence with both their maths and computer skills?

If so then our new Baking with Friends challenge is perfect for you! Starting during Spring Online (22 - 26 April 2013) and running right through to Adult Learners’ Week (18 - 24 May), we will be challenging the centres taking part to run special sessions during which learners will follow fun & easy recipes and cook up a storm right in their centre!

By encouraging learners to measure ingredients, add up calories and divide up portions, they’ll be developing their math skills - and you can even show them how computers can help them convert ounces to grams or find Press release & links ~ UKOC: Our refreshed partnership offer is now live! ~ UKOC: Improvements to the Learn my way site
ACE: A total of 87 successful organisations will receive approximately £17.8m through the second round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund. Funds have been awarded to a wide range of projects across the country.
An open application process for the third & final round of the Strategic support fund will open in autumn 2013, for activity commencing in April 2014.
Press release & links
HEFCE: The Higher Education Funding Council Englandreports that,since its launch on the 27 September 2012, the Unistats web-site has received 3,315,620 page views and 171,186 unique visitors – an average of 984 new visitors per day. 

Unistats provides up-to-date, comparable and independent data & information for all UK higher education undergraduate courses, and is designed to support prospective students through the decision-making process of which course to study.
Press release & links
TfL: The telephone number for customers to contact Transport for London (TfL) about Oyster enquiries has changed to a low local call rate. Customers calling for information on fares, refunds or to make a complaint about Oyster issues can now do so on 0343 222 1234, a local rate number which is also included in many fixed line and mobile phone bundles. It replaces the previous 0845 number.
Press release & links
MO: The Met Office has updated its range of mobile weather apps, introducing the ability to share the latest weather forecast with friends and followers direct from both the iPhone and Android apps. 
The apps give you 3 hourly forecasts & 5 day weather predictions.  In addition to the likelihood of rain or snow, sunshine, cloud coverage and temperature, it gives the "feels-like" temperature - ideal if it's 6 °C but will actually feel like minus 5 °C accounting for the wind chill factor.
Press release & links
TUC: The TUC and its 2 largest affiliated unions, Unite and UNISON, have launched Trade Union Share Owners - a new group which aims to put union values at the heart of the world of corporate governance, with a new approach to the way in which their investments are voted on at company AGMs.
From now on at any AGM of a FTSE350 company where either the TUC staff pension fund or those of its two biggest unions hold shares, the group will work with shareholder advisory group PIRC to ensure that their funds take a common voting position in accordance with a new set of policy guidelines drawn up by the TUC.
Press release & links ~ PIRC
NE: England’s 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) were marking their first anniversary at a Forum in London last week, attended by Minister Richard Benyon from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Professor Sir John Lawton and Natural England’s Chair Poul Christensen. 

The Forum enabled the 12 NIA partnership groups to share details & learning on the wide-ranging work they are doing to restore nature on a landscape scale.
Press release & links
CLG: A new approach to helping town centres adapt to the modern market began last week as a new forum met for the first time. The Future High Streets Forum brings together civic & business leaders across retail, property and hospitality sectors.
Press release & links
NO: From 2 April 2013, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman will be investigating more complaints & sharing more information with government organisations and the NHS, marking the first step in delivering plans to have more impact for more people.
Under the new plans, the starting point will be that once a complaint meets some basic tests, it will usually be investigated.  This means the Ombudsman service will be investigating & sharing the learning from thousands more complaints each year.
Press release & links
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