General Reports and Other Publications

WAG: A new report on how free prescriptions are benefiting patients in Wales has been published by Health Minister, Edwina Hart.  The report says patients with heart disease, who were previously ineligible for free prescriptions make up the largest group in terms of items dispensed – with almost a third of the prescriptions issued in 2009 – helping to keep people out of hospital and reducing the cost to the NHS.
It says there has been no significant increase in prescriptions dispensed as a result of the introduction of the policy.  Neither has there been an increase in over the counter medicines (such as teething gels) being prescribed to more affluent people.
Press release ~ Free prescriptions ~ Helping to improve Wales's health: Free prescriptions three years on 
TDA: A new report from the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) released last week shows that ‘increasing the number of Teaching Assistants in schools improves student attainment’.  The research report also shows that increases in funding for teaching assistants, more than additional expenditure on any other type of support staff, leads to improvements in student results.
The report suggests that having a teaching assistant in the classroom who can give additional support to pupils who need it, allows the teacher to focus, without distraction, on other students.  And new research, also released by the TDA last week, shows that the majority of parents (78%) recognise the positive impact support staff have on pupil learning.
Press release ~ Increased expenditure on Associate Staff in schools and changes in student attainment ~ Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) ~ Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
LSN: The Mobile Learning Network (MoLeNET) has released a new report exploring the ways in which computer games, digital games & digital learning games can be used to enhance & support teaching and learning.
The report, titled ‘Games Technologies for Learning: More Than Just Toys’ was officially launched at the Game Based Learning conference 2010 held at the Brewery London, as part of a research seminar led by Learning and Skills Network’s Jill Attewell and Rebecca Douch.
The report also focuses specifically on how handheld games technologies can be used to support learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, through benefits such as overcoming language barriers for those with low levels of literacy and/or numeracy and helping teachers to support learners at different levels.  Practitioners can also glean advice on how to use games technology more effectively in their teaching.
Press release ~ Mobile Learning Network (MoLeNET) ~ ‘Games Technologies for Learning: More Than Just Toys’ ~ Game Based Learning conference 2010
Socitm: According to Socitm, the ideas & intentions set out in the PM’s speech on Britain’s Digital Future, delivered on 22 March 2010, will only be realised if they are underpinned by a renewed focus on locally delivered information handling & technology deployment.
In a response to the speech, Socitm (which represents IT professionals in the public & third sectors) says that evidence from the Total Place pilots & elsewhere confirms that public services deliver more, better & for less when services are led, managed & resourced locally, with citizens & front-line staff having a major say in the nature and composition of those services.
Press release ~ A Socitm policy briefing: Response to the PM’s speech on Britain’s Digital Future
Public Sector Cyber Security beyond the PSN – Panel Session with Interactive Q&A