Archives for March 2nd, 2001

NEW INSTITUTE TO DRIVE UP SOCIAL CARE STANDARDS

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 March, 2001

A new Social Care Institute for Excellence is to be set up to raise the standard of social care provision throughout England and Wales. The launch of the Institute is an important element in the Government’s drive to modernise social services across the country and tackle variations in quality and standards of services that exist between authorities.Its role will be to create a knowledge base of what works in social care and the information will be made available to managers, practitioners and users. It will rigorously review research and practice to provide a database of information on methods proven to be effective in social care practice. Using this information, the Institute will produce guidelines on Best Practice. They will be disseminated across the sector and will be readily accessible to the staff who actually deliver the services. The Institute will work to help staff implement Best Practice, ensuring they are equipped with both the knowledge and support needed to bring about an improvement in services offered. It will also to implement the Government’s Quality Strategy for social care and promote the health and social care partnership agenda through its work with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and other organisations in the health care sector.

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WAKE UP CALL TO FURTHER EDUCATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 March, 2001

The National Audit Office has sent a wake up call to the 400 colleges of further education in England. Almost half the 3.8 million students who attend the colleges fail to achieve the qualifications they are seeking. The failure rate takes into account students dropping out of courses as well as failing to achieve the required standard. The gap between the best and worst performing colleges is extremely wide. Drop out rates vary between 98 per cent and 72 per cent, and achievement rates vary between 98 per cent and 33 per cent. The cost of further education to the public purse is about 3 billion pounds.The report ‘Improving Student Performance: How English further education colleges can improve student retention and achievement’ advocates that the student drop out rate should be tackled by closely monitoring absence and following up absences promptly and in a sensitive way. The report argues that the achievement rate can be improved by focusing on the teaching and learning processes. The quality of teaching and learning methods needs to be improved and there should be prompt, regular and constructive feedback to students on their performance. Students should be helped to develop good study techniques and be given advice on how to take notes effectively and set out written work coherently.
.Link: www.nao.gov.uk

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