Archives for August 20th, 2002

GROWING OLD OR GROWING APART?

Abstracts, PublicNet: 20 August, 2002

By Martin Evans and Michael NobleAn in-depth analysis for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation of local and regional changes in the numbers claiming Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance shows that the impact of economic recovery between 1995 and 2000 was not shared equally. The number of people in England claiming means-tested ‘out of work’ benefits fell from 4.8 million in 1995 to 3.8 million in 2000. Just overhalf those who claimed benefits in 1995 were no longer doing so in 2000. Unemployed claimants leaving benefits explained most of the decline in all areas. However, the rate of recovery varied widely between regions and within them. The decline in claims was slowest in manufacturing, industrial and former mining areas. The researchers at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics found that low local rates of leaving benefits were associated with multiple deprivation, including long-term unemployment, ill health and low educational attainment, as well as an older average age among local people who were out of work.

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SCHOOL LEADERSHIP COLLEGE MOVES TO PERMANENT SITE

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 August, 2002

The National College for School Leadership launched in November 2000 by the Prime Minister is moving out of temporary accommodation into a permanent site. From September headteachers and aspiring heads will be welcomed to the new Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham. The centre will offer a wide range of programmes, seminars and other professional development opportunities designed to promote and develop leadership skills in schools. These will be available not just to heads but also to deputy heads, department heads, year heads and others with leadership responsibilities in schools. It’s anticipated more than 20,000 delegates will come to the purpose- built residential centre in its first year.A four month programme of events beginning in September has been organised to celebrate the launch of the College. The programme will include E-learning: Transforming tomorrow’s education today -chaired by David Puttnam and An International Future: Learning from best practice worldwide – bringing together school leaders and policymakers from this country and abroad.

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TEXT MESSAGE VOTING POPULAR BUT CONCERNS ABOUT SECURITY

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 August, 2002

Voting through a text message is likely to prove popular. A survey by CMG, the ICT services company showed that 78% of people would be keen to use their mobile phone to send a text message to record their vote at the next General Election, if the service was available. Any text messaging system would need “electronic credentials” made up from the voter ID, candidate codes and PIN numbers. These could be set up by post. It is thought that distributing credentials by paper rather than electronically is more secure. Text messages would be processed immediately and a confirmation message sent out.However, a report by the government’s technology security agency, the Communications Electronics Security Group, raises serious security concerns including a lack of standardised user equipment. The research also highlighted reliability problems with mobile phone text-messaging technology which is inherently a ‘best effort’ delivery medium with no guarantee of successful delivery. The Government security experts believe that the confirmation message to the voter may have to be sent several times to increase the likelihood of at least one getting through.

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