Policy Statements and Initiatives

DECC: The Government is taking additional steps to make sure the 84% of households who don’t switch energy suppliers can get the best deal.  These reforms will move people off poor-value 'dead' tariffs, reduce the number of core tariffs to 4 per gas and electricity supplier, and make bills easier to understand.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Education Secretary Michael Gove recently announced:
* the appointment of a children's chief social worker
* a new fast-track training programme for top graduates
 
The Chief Social Worker for Children & Families, Isabelle Trowler, will lead reform of the profession to deliver the best for children & families.  The Frontline training scheme will recruit the highest-achieving graduates and train them as social work leaders in a specially tailored programme.
Press release & links
 
DH: To understand the needs of patients & the pressures NHS staff face, every Department of Health civil servant will be expected to gain first hand experience of life in health or social care. A key recommendation in the Francis report was changing the culture of the department to make sure the needs of patients are always the first priority.
 
Senior civil servants will be expected to spend at least a month learning about the experiences of patients every year, increasing their experience levels over time.  Policy staff & others will also follow suit, learning about how their policy areas work out in practice, and broadening their knowledge of patient experience.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Details of a £6m scheme offering financial help to farmers hit by the extreme weather have been announced by the Scottish Government. The application form & detailed guidance will be available on the ScotGov website on Monday 3 June 2013.
 
This is to comply with EU state aid rules where a block exemption scheme must be registered with the EU 10 days before opening for applications.  Farmers will have over a month to submit their application before the closing deadline on Friday 5 July 2013.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has approved 102 new free school applications to open in 2014 & beyond, delivering around 50,000 new school places.
Press release & links
 
HMT: Treasury ministers, Sajid Javid and Greg Clark have officially launched the government’s UK Investment Management strategy
Press release ~ UK investment management strategy
 
ScotGov: In response to the demand for more from councils & developers, a further procurement round of a scheme – which is already delivering over 1,000 new affordable homes across Scotland – has been launched. 

The National Housing Trust initiative (NHT) allows developers & councils to jointly fund the purchase of new homes, with local authority loans to the initiative being underwritten by the Scottish Government.
 
Homes are available for rent at below market rates for 5 to 10 years before being sold, with tenants given priority to buy at the end of the rental period. 13 developers across 10 council areas are already participating in the initiative, and hundreds of households are already enjoying living in their new homes.
Press release & links
 
WAG: A team of new ‘superheroes’ is set to sweep the nation’s primary schools as a Welsh Government nurturing entrepreneurship in younger learners gets underway. 

The characters have been designed as a fun & engaging way for youngsters to learn more about 4 key attributes of entrepreneurship – summed up by the acronym ‘ACRO’Attitude, Creativity, Relationships and Organisation.  
Press release & links
 
WAG: The Welsh Government will not follow England who have dropped a commitment to assess the impact their policies have on different social groups, Communities Minister Huw Lewis pledged last week. 

These ‘equality impact assessments’, introduced in the 2010 Equality Act, involve assessing the likely or actual effects of policies on people in respect of disability, gender and racial equality.
Press release & links
 
DH: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Dame Sally Davies have lead a delegation to the World Health Assembly in Geneva.  They are calling for international action to deal with the growing problem of fewer medicines to treat the soaring number of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Construction began last week at the first school to be rebuilt under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), the Education Funding Agency (EFA) announced. Whitmore Primary School in Coventry will benefit from a £4.89m rebuild as part of the government’s £2.4bn programme.
Press release & links
 
WAG: The new NHS Delivery Framework, setting out the main priorities for the health service for 2013/14, has been published by NHS Wales Chief Executive David Sissling. The priorities reflect a move towards a much greater focus on patient experience, quality and safety of care.
Press release & links
The Golden Thread: A study of the contribution of the project profession to the UK’s economy