Archives for July 5th, 1999

ACTION ZONE LEARNING

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 July, 1999

The modernising government programme is creating a substantial pool of
learning about what works and what does not work. The problem is that the
learning is held in many puddles across the UK where the initiatives are
taking place. The Local Government Association is seeking to draw the
puddles together through its Supporting the Action Zones scheme.

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EDUCATION AND TRAINING SHAKE-UP

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 July, 1999

Radical proposals for reforming post 16 learning have been published in the White Paper Learning to Succeed. It is planned to sweep away much that has been heavily criticised. The principal weaknesses are too few pupils stay on at school after 16; and standards are too variable. Also there is too little clarity, co-ordination and coherence between further education and training, and there are too many layers in contracting and funding. The new framework integrates developments already announced such as the University for Industry and personal learning accounts.

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STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE IN THE CIVIL SERVICE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 5 July, 1999

By Green S
The International Journal of Public Sector Management, (UK), 1998 Vol 11 No 7. Start page: 536. No of pages: 17

Discusses strategic management and planning (SM/P) and examines the reasons for adoption of SM/P by governments regarding their civil services. Uses a two-part methodology – questionnaire, and personal interviews with senior civil servants (still ongoing) – to elicit this information from England, Japan, USA (3 states), Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Concentrates on the latter four countries. Tables their responses to key questions regarding differences arising through introducing SM/P, and views on strategic objectives. Lists also, the extent of their adoption of SM/P practices, e.g. introduction of core competencies, mission statements, scenario planning, etc., and includes US data in that analysis. Indicates that changes may be more operational in nature than true adoption of private sector SM/P practices. Explores reasons for this, commenting on the strong financial focus seen in strategic plans. Concludes that SM/P practices have not taken hold sufficiently. Believes civil services need to get to grips with what business they ought to be in, rather than concentrate solely on full adoption of private sector SM/P practices.

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