General News

MoD: As the drawdown of UK forces continues apace in Helmand, a senior officer talks of the unprecedented redeployment of equipment taking place.
Press release & links ~ Afghans take security lead across Afghanistan
 
MoD: Army personnel have been notified if they have been selected for the third tranche of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. 4,480 Army personnel, of whom 3,763 (84%) are applicants, have been notified of their selection for redundancy.  Personnel selected for redundancy will be told face-to-face by their commanding officer, or by telephone. Applicants will serve up to 6 months’ notice before leaving the Armed Forces while non-applicants will serve up to 12 months’ notice.
 
Those selected for redundancy will be encouraged to apply for a transfer to other areas of the Army, and the other Services, if they meet the selection criteria, where a manning shortfall is forecast in the future.  Every year around 24,000 personnel leave the Armed Forces and around 85% of Service leavers are employed within 6 months of leaving the Armed Forces.  All Service leavers, not just redundees, are being encouraged to consider a part-time military career in the Reserves.
Press release & links
 
DHArmed Forces personnel are being urged to talk about issues that are worrying them via a social media website. bigwhitewall.com is a free online space where serving personnel, veterans and their families can talk about what’s troubling them and get help & support in a safe environment whenever they need it.
Press release & links
 
TfL2 competitions have been launched to mark the RideLondon cycling festival taking place in the Capital later this summer. You could get creative and win a bike by designing your own London-themed t-shirt.  To enter, visit the website, download the t-shirt template and email your design back before 30 June 2013.
 
Alternatively, why not take on the challenge of training with the best and do a spin class with double Olympic champion Laura Trott. As well as putting you through your paces on the bike, Laura will share her top training tips.  The closing date is 8 July2013.
Press release & links
 
TfL: A mentoring service helping disabled Londoners make the most of the Capital's bus network has launched in Sutton. It aims to make the Capital's transport system more accessible to disabled people and improves their ability to reach jobs & leisure opportunities.
 
The first 'bus day' took place in Sutton recently on a planned route starting in the town centre.  Passengers were able to get on & off along the way and were accompanied by Transport for London (TfL) travel mentors and members of the Metropolitan Police's Safer Transport Team
Press release & links
 
GPS: The Government Procurement Service’s Financial Analysis Services framework agreement allows you to make informed decisions on the financial viability of potential suppliers.
Press release & links
 
HEFCE: The South East Physics network (SEPnet) and Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) have announced investment of more than £13m in physics teaching & research at higher education institutions in the South East over the next 5 years.
Press release & links
 
IoE: The Institute of Education has signed an agreement with the International Baccalaureate (IB), recognising the quality of the IOE's MA awards. This initiative will provide students on the IOE's MA Education and the MA AELM programmes with the opportunity to apply for an IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research or the IB Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research.
Press release & links
 
LSIS: As per their press statement of 31 January 2013, Learning and Skills Improvement Services can confirm that it is closing at the end of July 2013.  This as a result of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announcing in November last year, that they would cease to fund LSIS from July 2013.  
Press release & links
 
CO: Following a recruitment campaign, the Commissioning Academy has formally ‘opened the campus gates’ for its first intake of commissioners.   It brings together senior commissioners from across the public sector to learn from the example of the most successful commissioning organisations - developing a growing cadre of professionals skilled in best practice.
 
In total 67 senior commissioners from more than 23 public sector organisations will be participating - split into 3 separate ‘cohorts’.  The focus is on:
* practical peer-led learning covering key commissioning issues, such as outcome-based commissioning
* working with the voluntary & community sector
* market engagement & development
* joint commissioning across organisational boundaries
* behavioural insight
* new models of delivery such as mutual and joint venture companies
Press release & links
 
Ofcom: Ofcom has begun the second phase of local TV licensing, inviting applications for new channels in 7 locations across the UK (Bangor, Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Mold, Scarborough, Swansea & York).  These are the initial locations in the second phase of licensing.
Press release & links
 
Monitor: Health sector regulator Monitor has given the Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) an additional 30 working days to ‘come up with a solution for making health services currently provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust clinically and financially viable’.
Press release & links
 
DH: People will now find it easier to make healthier choices about the food they eat with the new consistent front of pack nutritional label launched last week by Public Health Minister, Anna Soubry. The consistent system will combine red, amber, green colour-coding and nutritional information to show how much fat, saturated fat, salt & sugar, and calories are in food products.
Press release & links
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