Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides
NICE: NICE is to support local authorities in developing ways to tackle the rising tide of obesity in England, as the government plans to slash 5bn calories off the nation's daily diet. The government's obesity strategy says that on average adults are exceeding their calorie intake by 10% and that people need to be more honest about what they eat & drink in order to achieve the goal of reducing levels of child & adult obesity by 2020.
NICE will develop new public health guidance on working with local communities to prevent obesity, due in November 2012. A second piece of guidance on the best practice principles for adult & child weight management services will also be developed to help support effective commissioning of local weight management services.
NE: Natural England has published new guidance for prospective Environmental Stewardship (ES) applicants. ‘Common Land and Shared Grazing’ is produced as a supplement to Environmental Stewardship handbooks and gives detailed advice on how to apply for Entry Level Stewardship (including Uplands ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship, where common land or shared grazing are a consideration.
NAO: The National Audit Office has underlined the importance of effective financial management in schools. It is essential that the financial management framework for schools is capable of alerting the Department for Education to any systemic issues that may require action or intervention.
The report to Parliament notes that weak financial management & weak academic performance often go hand in hand. The Department has a limited role in relation to the financial management of schools. It sets standards but responsibility for financial management and cost reductions lies with schools themselves, with local authorities responsible for exercising effective oversight.
DCMS: A new programme has been launched to share best practice learnt from the successful construction of the Olympic Park. Under the Learning Legacy scheme, the organisations involved in delivering the park will help businesses raise the bar in 10 areas including design & engineering, planning, procurement & project management.
The website is a collaborative project between the ODA, contractors, professional institutes, government bodies & academia, and can be contributed to over time, becoming a comprehensive online library for companies of all shapes & sizes to refer to.
OFT: The OFT has published its updated Debt Collection Guidance which sets out the standards expected of all businesses engaging in the recovery of consumer credit debts, including banks, law firms and tracing agents as well as traditional debt collectors.
It also sets out specific business practices that the OFT considers to be unfair or improper, such as using social networking sites to contact debtors, as well as contacting debtors at unreasonable times, or at inappropriate locations, for example when they are a patient in hospital. The OFT will be updating its Irresponsible Lending Guidance later this year to reflect the position in the Debt Collection Guidance.
DfT: New guidance to help local authorities design high-quality ‘shared space schemes’ has been published by Transport Minister, Norman Baker. In conventional streets, behaviour is governed by highway infrastructure such as traffic signs, road markings and other street furniture. In streets with shared space much of this infrastructure is removed, so it is important that schemes are well designed and can be easily used.
CWDC: Publication by the Children’s Workforce development Fund of Communicating and engaging with young people follows employer feedback asking for support in this area. The guide builds on key learning outcomes from projects funded through their Participation Fund and includes tips on how best to help staff & volunteers improve their skills in this area.
DfE: Updated guidance, Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked, has been published jointly by the Home Office and the Department for Education. The guidance makes clear that trafficked children who are forced into sexual exploitation, coerced into committing crimes or used by adults to commit offences are treated by the police and CPS as victims of crime.
Where children are found to be trafficked their safety & welfare needs must be urgently addressed. This guidance will help local agencies, including local authorities, NHS bodies and the police, to address this dreadful abuse effectively.
DfE: A simple checklist (‘Getting the simple things right’) of what schools can do to instil good behaviour in the classroom has been developed & published by Charlie Taylor - the headteacher of a special school with some of the toughest behaviour issues and the Government’s Expert Adviser on behaviour – See ‘In the News’ section for more information