General Reports and Other Publications

MO: Latest research has shown that emissions of CO 2 will need to be reduced close to zero by the end of this century if a rise in the mean global temperature beyond 2°C is to be avoided.  A temperature rise of no more than 2 °C is widely acknowledged as the ‘safe’ level to avoid dangerous climate change.
 
This finding follows the development of a new climate mitigation scenario constructed using the same principles that will be adopted by the next IPCC assessment review using concentrations of greenhouse gases and other forcings as a starting point.  Modellers have then been able to establish what level of emissions would need to be achieved so as to restrict global temperature rise.

This research, revealed at the  ‘ENSEMBLES – A changing climate in Europe’ symposium at the Met Office in Exeter, is the culmination of 5 years of research from 66 institutes across Europe, led by the Met Office Hadley Centre and funded by the European Commission.
Press release ~ ‘ENSEMBLES – A changing climate in Europe’ symposium ~ Met Office Hadley Centre ~ UK Climate Projections 2009 ~ ENSEMBLES
 
ESRC: Children as young as 12 have a strong sense of their personal futures and can reflect thoughtfully on what life might hold for them, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)  and led by Professor Paul Croll of Reading University & Professor Gaynor Attwood of the University of the West of England.
 
“What is very striking,” says Professor Croll, “is that for this generation there is absolutely no gender stereotyping in hopes for the future.  Furthermore, what children say at the age of 11 about school participation after the age of 16 is highly predictive of their actual behaviour”.

The research concludes that to increase participation in schooling post-16, schools need to focus on giving advice & information to children as soon as they enter secondary education.  Greater attention also needs to be paid to social relationships, in order to make school a more enjoyable experience for some children.  But the study acknowledges that schools face a difficult balance between encouraging high expectations and providing realistic opportunities & goals.
Press release ~ 'Children's perception of the value of education' ~ Economic and Social Research Council ~ Understanding Society
 
LSIS: The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), the Association of Colleges (AoC) and its Governors’ Council have welcomed the ‘Review of Governance and Strategic Leadership in English Further Education’ as a catalyst for discussion at a time when the challenges for governance & strategic leadership across the sector are rapidly changing.
 
Commissioned by LSIS and the AoC the review sought to identify 'good' practice in each area of this diverse sector and it also looked forward & reviewed the implications of the proposed move towards shared regulation and the introduction of the machinery of government changes in 2010.
Press release ~ Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) Governance Review ~ Association of Colleges (AoC)
 
PB: The Parole Board has responded to a Ministry of Justice consultation paper on the future of the Board by calling for it to remain an independent body, but with sponsorship transferred to HM Courts Service.  This change would ‘put the independence of the Parole Board from the executive on a firmer footing, as required by the Court of Appeal, and enhance its ability to secure sufficient judicial resources from HMCS to hear prisoners’ cases on time’.
 
It would also provide for some efficiency savings through a closer relationship with HMCS without generating the additional costs that a formal move into the courts structure might entail.  The Parole Board argues against the option of a move to the Tribunals Service as being inconsistent with it remaining an integral part of the criminal justice system.
 
The Board has also called for its recommendations on moving prisoners to open prison conditions to be made binding upon the Secretary of State and at the same time for it to be given the power to review the cases of prisoners who have been moved back from open to closed conditions by the Prison Service.
Press release ~ MoJ closed consultation: The Future of the Parole Board ~ Parole Board response ~ HM Courts Service ~ Tribunals Service
 
NE: Scientists have sounded the alarm over the threats faced by coastal marine ecosystems - such as tidal salt marshes, seagrass meadows, kelp forests and mangroves – which are key tools in combating climate change.  Part-funded by Natural England, the Lighthouse Foundation and the UNEP, the IUCN report - ‘The Management of Natural Coastal Carbon Sinks’ - looks at a range of global options for carbon management around the world’s coastlines.
 
The report highlights the wide-ranging benefits that coastal habitats provide and also the increasing threats that they face.  For example, the loss of two-thirds of seagrass meadows and 50% of mangrove forests due to human activities has severely threatened their carbon storage capacity and is comparable to the annual decline in the Amazon forests.
Press release ~ Natural England ~ The Management of Natural Coastal Carbon Sinks ~ IUCN ~ Lighthouse Foundation ~ UNEP
 
ScotGov: Partnership work to tackle wildlife crime is proving successful, according to a report - The Natural Justice Update - which analysed the progress made in the prevention, detection, investigation & prosecution of wildlife crime. The report recognises the progress made and recommends that local partnership groups are now formed to make further progress.
Press release ~ COPFS ~ Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) ~ Natural Justice ~ Natural Justice Update ~ Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill - Consultation Reponses

Ofsted: An Ofsted report showcases 12 outstanding special schools that excel at providing for very vulnerable children & young people.  It shows how these schools deal with complex special educational needs, behavioural difficulties, disabilities and pupils excluded from mainstream schools.
 
The report - Twelve outstanding special schools - Excelling through inclusion - describes schools that have the highest aspirations for every child and aim ‘never to give up on them’.  These schools enable pupils whose schooling has been interrupted by obstacles and traumatic events to go on to achieve remarkable things.
 
The publication follows two reports launched earlier this year that identified the secrets of success for outstanding primary and secondary schools.
Press release ~ Twelve outstanding special schools - Excelling through inclusion ~ Twelve outstanding secondary schools - Excelling against the odds ~ Twenty outstanding primary schools - Excelling against the odds