Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: The teaching of science in Scotland's classrooms needs to be reinvigorated according to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop. Over 200 people attended Scotland's first-ever School Science Summit, chaired by Sir Andrew Cubie.  The focus was on how science can be made more engaging for pupils and how the skills & confidence of teachers can be improved to make this a reality.
 
Scottish Government initiatives aimed at realising the potential in science to make Scotland an innovative & creative country include:
* the launch of the Science for Scotland framework
* the introduction of the Scottish Science Baccalaureate
* £2.1m investment in Science CPD for teachers announced last June
* the provision of £140,000 by the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser for a pilot scheme to allow 60 schools to develop science clubs
Press release ~ ScotGov – Science, Technology and Innovation ~ Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) ~ Scottish Science Baccalaureate ~ Curriculum for Excellence ~ CPD Scotland ~ Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser ~ Trends in International Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS) ~ Choose Science ~ 2007 Scottish Survey of Achievement in Science ~ 2008 HMIE report: Science - A portrait of current practice in Scottish Schools (scroll down to 04/11/2008) ~ Science for Scotland framework
 
MoD:   Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth has announced the results of a review to ensure that the Royal Navy has the bestinfrastructure in place to support its ships, submarines and new aircraft carriers.  The principal decisions of the review are:
* Faslane Naval Base will become the dedicated home for the Royal Navy's fleet of nuclear-powered submarines - including the Future Deterrent - with the last attack submarine leaving Devonport in around 2017 on current plans
* The Royal Navy's planned next generation of frigates, named the Future Surface Combatant, will be based in Portsmouth to maximise the benefits of basing them alongside the Type 45 destroyers and Aircraft Carriers
* Devonport will be home to the amphibious fleet & survey vessels and, subject to final approval, a force of Royal Marines' landing craft and the associated RM personnel will transfer there
* Subject to commercial negotiations the majority of surface ship major refits will go to Devonport once work on the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers starts to increase.  Some major refit work will occasionally be done at Portsmouth to retain skills;
Press release
 
CLG: A strategy for delivering the new homes, jobs and infrastructure the South East needs until 2026 has been announced by Communities Minister Sadiq Khan. The South East Plan sets out a framework for sustainable growth that will hopefully support long-term economic performance in the region by encouraging the provision of new job opportunities and meeting the region's housing needs.
 
The Plan deals with the key issues of tackling climate change, including flood risks, and protecting the region's natural and historic environment.  It also sets out the region's transport strategy and an overall framework for implementation, which includes delivering 654,000 new homes (35% affordable) until 2026 to meet the region's long-term housing needs.
Press release ~ South East England Regional Assembly – South East Plan ~ Government Office for the South East – Regional Planning
 
DH: The Department of Health is to provide £1.6m to Macmillan to improve services & support for those living with & beyond cancer. The funding will be used to:
* pilot different ways for the NHS & LAs to look after people when they have finished their initial cancer treatment
* provide healthcare professionals with information & training to support people following cancer treatment
* run courses to help people living with cancer to look after their own lives, with advice on finances & returning to work
Press release ~ Macmillan - National Cancer Survivorship Initiative ~ DH - Cancer ~ Survivorship: Living with and beyond cancer
 
DH: Local health agencies & schools must improve the management of childhood asthma to help children lead full & healthy lives, Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Health has urged. Asthma affects 5m people in this country, including 1.1m children, and it is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation of children.
 
As part of the Child Health Strategy, the Government is looking at how schools & early years settings can better support children with long-term conditions such as diabetes & asthma. A Best Practice Guide for Children's Asthma is also being developed.  
 
Primary care trusts are being encouraged to make better use of the data on the treatment of asthma - a disease information management tool that has been developed enables them to analyse how many emergency bed days are attributable to asthma attacks, and use this information to plan better services for patients. Adult asthma will be one of the focus areas of the national strategy on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is due to be published later this year.
Press release ~ Asthma Awareness Week  ~ Tackling Health Inequalities, 10 Years On ~ Child Health Strategy ~ DH – ill and Disabled Children ~ Disability and Handicap in Young People with Asthma ~ Disease Management Information Toolkit (DMIT) ~ Disease Management Information Toolkit (DMIT) Paediatric Asthma Data Module user guide
 
WAG: Green standards for new buildings in Wales intended to cut carbon emissions and improve their sustainability have been announced by Environment, Sustainability & Housing Minister Jane Davidson.  The move makes Wales the first part of the UK to set a national standard for sustainable buildings to be met through the planning system (from 1 September 2009).
 
For new homes this will; * reduce their carbon emissions by more than 31% compared to current building regulations, * reduce the consumption of water, * use more sustainable materials. Housing proposals will be expected to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and non-domestic buildings will be expected to meet the BREEM ‘Very Good’ standard as a minimum.
Press release ~ WAG – Design and Construction ~ WAG - Housing ~ Code for Sustainable Homes ~ BREEM certification ~ WAG – Climate Change ~ Wales’s Green Buildings Charter ~ Sustainable Development Commission Wales ~ Sustain Wales
 
DIUS: Colleges have been urged to improve their sexual health services by Further Education Minister Sion Simon. The Minister pushed for all colleges to offer a minimum level of sexual health provision to include screening for sexually transmitted infections and providing contraception to FE students.  
 
Government will provide £2m in 2009/10 under the Healthy FE Programme to support colleges in developing their sexual health services.  This includes an increased sum of £1.6m to Strategic Health Authorities to strengthen delivery partnerships with Primary Care Trusts.
Press release ~ Healthy FE Programme ~ Sex Education Forum
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