Archives for July 19th, 2000

TWO CONCEPTS OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Book News, PublicNet: 19 July, 2000

Christopher D FosterThe author argues that there are two concepts of accountability: public activities accountable to Parliament through Ministers and economic activities performing well for those who use them. Ministers resign for personal faults, sexual or financial scandals and departmental errors. They do not resign because their department is performing poorly. The case is set out for accountability to focus firstly on managing expenditure. This would follow the example of the private sector which has achieved a businesslike concept of accountability.

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UNDER PERFORMING TEACHER FAST EXIT SETS PUBLIC SECTOR TREND

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 July, 2000

Guidance on how to deal with teachers who are performing poorly has been issued to schools. It sets out a model capability procedure for supporting and monitoring poorly performing teachers which gives them fair warning and opportunity to improve, before they are dismissed for incompetence. The model is based on a procedure piloted in the last three years, where schools have reduced the amount of time it takes to remove incompetent teachers from two years to two terms. In extreme cases the process has been reduced to four weeks.The significance of the model is its potential to deliver a culture change. Its acceptance for general use recognises the fact that the standard of acceptable performance has been raised and the streamlined process for dismissal has shifted the balance against the under performer by strengthening the hand of Governors.

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SPENDING REVIEW BOOSTS JOINED UP SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 July, 2000

The Spending Review 2000, which will inject large increases in funding across the board, will have a significant effect in breaking down barriers in government. Part of the Review process included 15 cross cutting reviews of problems ranging from Young People at Risk to meeting the challenges of the Knowledge Economy.There is a focus on children and young people. A new Children’s Fund, worth ?200 million in 2003-04, has been set up. It has a strong emphasis on voluntary sector delivery, to ensure that vulnerable young people make the transition safely to adulthood. The Fund will fund services to identify children and young people who are showing early signs of difficulty and provide them and their families with the support they need to get back on track. The aim is to prevent children falling into drug abuse, truancy, exclusion, unemployment and crime, as well as raising aspirations and preventing underachievement.

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