General Reports and Other Publications
UK SA: The UK Statistics Authority has welcomed publication of the House of Commons Treasury Committee report Counting the Population which calls for urgent improvements to the current statistics on migration & population and tasks the Statistics Authority with taking a lead in finding solutions, drawing as necessary on data from across government.
A recent survey released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 17 March 2008 found that only one in five people think figures are compiled without political interference. The UK came 27th out of 27 in a recent survey within European countries of trust in their Governments' statistics.
Press release ~ HCTC: Counting the Population ~ UK Statistics Authority ~ Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007
MoD: The Ministry of Defence has welcomed the publication of the independent National Recognition of the Armed Forces study by Quentin Davies MP, which makes 40 recommendations to enhance public awareness & appreciation of the Armed Forces. The MoD will respond in detail to all of these recommendations later in the year, but has already implemented some and work is underway on others.
The recommendations being worked on now include:
* Greater encouragement for the military to wear uniforms in public where circumstances & Service rules allow
* Creating a British Armed Forces and Veterans Day
* Introducing extra Local Authority engagement for Homecoming Parades and
* Strengthening cadet organisations
Press release ~ National Recognition of the Armed Forces Study ~ Honour the Armed Forces Covenant ~ MoD responds to Covenant campaign ~ Military Covenant Factsheet ~ MoD - Veterans
ESRC: Do we really fear crime or are we just anxious about neighbourhood breakdown and the speed of change in society? Research, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, shows that our everyday concerns about crime in & are much less frequent than previously thought.
For people who live in high crime areas, the fear of crime tends to be an everyday experience that reduces their quality of life. Yet for those people who live more protected lives, the fear of crime tends to be a more diffuse feeling that reflects a broader expression of concerns about social change.
NE: Natural England recently called for a new approach to managing the UK’s natural environment in its 'State of the Natural Environment' report, if it is to stand any chance of adapting to the next 50 years of unavoidable climate change and the modern pressures of development.
The findings from the report have led Natural England to publish a 'Manifesto for the Natural Environment', which outlines what needs to be done to set the nation on a greener path by tackling difficult questions to help protect our future natural assets.
Ofsted: Teaching sustainability in schools can help bring the significance of climate change to life and show children that they each have an important part to play in helping to protect the environment. Some schools are already leading the way in encouraging pupils to be green, but most have limited knowledge of sustainability and place little emphasis on teaching or promoting it, according to the latest report by Ofsted.
The report, ‘Schools and sustainability: A climate for change’, assesses the extent to which those schools surveyed are making sustainability an integral part of school life and the progress they are making towards meeting the expectations of the Government’s National Framework for Sustainable Schools.
Press release ~ ‘Schools and sustainability: A Climate for Change?’ ~ National Framework for Sustainable Schools ~ ‘Sustainable Schools’ programme ~ Building schools for the Future programme ~ Welsh Eco-Schools Programme
NAO: Grant-makers in the culture, media and sport sector fund awards of around £1.8bn a year. The cost of administering these grants, and of related activities, is in the region of £200m. Variations in administration costs between grant programmes reflect their differing objectives, but also suggest scope for grant-makers to learn from each other to reduce their costs, according to a new report from the National Audit Office.
The report found that grant-makers need to identify where the costs of grant-making are incurred and to evaluate whether the costs of awarding grants are proportionate to their value and the outcomes delivered. The report concludes that there is little co-ordinated or regular sharing of information on the costs and processes of grant making across the sector. For example, grant-makers have developed and implemented their own IT systems and there is little evidence that the lessons learned have been shared.
Press release ~ Making grants efficiently in the culture, media and sport sector ~ Executive Summary
CEL: Six years after the publication of a landmark report by the Commission for Black Staff in FE, the position of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff in colleges remains largely unchanged. These are the findings of research commissioned by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) and presented in its new report - ‘Succession planning and racial equality in the further education system’.
Key findings of the research included:
* BME staff are still under-represented in management and leadership roles in the FE system in England
* Morale is low among BME staff, and many are leaving or wish to do so
* Many BME staff believe that promotion is achieved through informal networking, from which they are excluded
* 25% of BME staff rate their appraisal as effective in providing agreed training & development opportunities
* Many BME staff are not confident about using formal complaints procedures
* Individual, uncoordinated measures increase the likelihood of discriminatory practice
*Lack of knowledge about subsidies for BME staff participating in CEL programmes acts as a barrier
Press release ~ Succession planning and racial equality in the further education system – Full report ~ Succession planning and racial equality in the further education system - summary ~ Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) ~ Five steps to Leadership ~ Equality and diversity update 2008 ~ Diversity update 2006 ~ Leading Change in Diversity and Equality ~ Black staff in further education : summary report of the Commission for Black Staff in Further Education ~ Commission for Black Staff in FE
DH: Health Secretary Alan Johnson has committed to creating more responsive and accessible primary care for black & minority ethnic groups (BME) groups, following the recommendations of two reports that identify ways of improving access and responsiveness of GP services.
The findings are published in response to issues raised in the largest GP patient survey, which was conducted last year. In response, the Department has announced the creation of a national support programme to work with the NHS and with GP practices to drive forward improvements in GP services.
The government claims that each report identifies 10 areas of best practice that will be shared across the NHS to make GP services more accessible and responsive to the needs of all patients, particularly those from BME communities.
Press release ~ 'No Patient Left Behind: How can we ensure world class primary care for Black & Minority Ethnic people?' ~ Report on self reported experience of patients from black and minority ethnic groups ~ 'Report of the National Improvement Team for Primary Care Access and Responsiveness' ~ DH – Primary Care