Policy Statements and Initiatives

CO: Francis Maude recently launched a detailed plan for the implementation of the Government’s new ICT Strategy which is projected to deliver around £1.4bn of savings within the next 4 years and help deliver better public services digitally.

The Strategic Implementation Plan includes specific delivery dates for each aspect of the strategy and an overview of how the strategy will be implemented with further details for each of the 19 delivery areas.  It will be followed at the end of October by 4 sub-strategies which will detail the commitment being made on key elements of the ICT strategy, including Cloud Computing & ICT Capability.
Press release & links
ScotGov: Another 30 schools are expected to be built or refurbished as part of the next phase of the school buildings programme - 12 more than originally planned - First Minister Alex Salmond announced recently. This will see the total number of projects built under the £1.25bn 'Scottish Schools for the Future' programme rise to more than 60.
Press release & links
COI: The Government is investing £32m in psychological therapies, including talking therapies, for children & young people with mental health problems, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced recently.
Press releases & links
CLG: Housing Minister Grant Shapps has called on councils & housing associations across the country to help their tenants during this time of high energy prices by taking steps that could save each tenant up to £500 a year on energy bills and create thousands of jobs in their local communities.  

With the countdown to the Government's Green Deal initiative underway, the Minister urged social landlords to make a positive difference to their tenants' lives by using existing funding models to start their own 'Pay As You Save' scheme, making homes in their area warmer & more comfortable to live in, and at the same time cheaper to run. 
Press release & links
MoD: The Prime Minister has announced that the Army's Warrior infantry fighting vehicle will benefit from a £1bn upgrade. The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) will extend the vehicles’ service life to beyond 2040, ensuring that Warrior will continue to play an essential role in the future conduct of land operations.
Press release & links
WAG: A new International Education Programme (IEP) which will help young people in Wales learn lessons from across the world has been announced by Education Minister Leighton Andrews. The IEP aims to spread the knowledge & skills necessary for young people in Wales to actively contribute to a global society. 
Utilising a new grant, the 3-year programme will be focussed on areas of greatest impact on the learner.  Areas of activity which could be covered by the IEP include, international school linking; joint curriculum projects; language learning, international professional development, raising awareness of the Welsh language abroad, and skills development.  
Press release & links ~ International Education Programme (IEP)
DH: A major push forward in the implementation of a screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), which will save the lives of thousands of older men, has been launched.  This major roll out will cover 80% of the country, with screening available across the whole of England by the end of March 2013.  The NHS AAA screening programme, which started in 2009 for men aged 65, aims to prevent up to half of the 6,000 deaths every year.
Press release & links ~ NHS AAA screening programme
BIS: The UK & China have agreed an action plan to strengthen their relationship on education cooperation. The action plan is intended to forge stronger links in higher education, vocational education & skills training, schools & language teaching.
Press release & links ~ UK-China Partners in Education - Action Plan
Defra: The fight against air pollution and the serious health problems it causes has been given a major boost after an extra £2m to help councils reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions was announced by Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach. 51 councils across England will receive funding for a range of projects designed to reduce serious levels of air pollution in our towns and cities. 
Press release & links
DfE: An independent review to strengthen the training, qualifications & career opportunities of people working in early education & childcare was launched last week. Children’s Minister Sarah Teather has asked Professor Cathy Nutbrown, an expert in early childhood education from the University of Sheffield, to lead the review.  The review will run until December 2011.
Professor Nutbrown has launched a call for evidence to hear from people working in the early years about the training and qualifications they think they need, and from employers, trainees, and parents.
Press release & links
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