Archives for December 6th, 2002

POLICE GO FOR CUSTOMER FOCUS

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 December, 2002

In a move to ensure that priorities and the use of resources are driven by what the customer wants, the Metropolitan Police Authority have set up a new ‘listen to the people’ structure. The new arrangements will bring together existing consultation mechanisms, put consulting higher up the management agenda and raise the profile of the Met as a listening organization.Consultation will be based on the boroughs, but feedback will be brought together to form a comprehensive picture of the public’s views. Steering groups of local stakeholders, including police, local authority and police community consultative group representatives have so far been set up in two boroughs. The steering groups will be supported by newly appointed full time Community Consultation Officers. The first task is to map out borough wide consultation arrangements.

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SPOTLIGHT ON UNDER PERFORMING PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 December, 2002

The Literacy and numeracy strategies introduced in 1998 are continuing to deliver results, but the gap between the high and low performers is widening. The latest performance tables show that since 1998, about 84,000 more eleven year olds are achieving the expected level for their age in maths and around 60,000 more are doing so in English. This represents a 10 percentage point improvement in English tests and a 14 percentage point improvement in maths. Raising the performance of the weaker schools closer to the best performers would ensure that all pupils benefited regardless of the school they attended.The current performance data is a crude measure which can mask under performers and it is planned to introduce value added tables next year. The new tables will be more comprehensive and make comparisons to similar schools and so draw attention to those that are under performing. This will allow Local Education Authorities to target action on those schools. The proposed value added scheme has been piloted in 495 schools and there will be a consultation before the final version goes live.

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THE INFLUENCE OF ATYPICAL WORKING HOURS ON FAMILY LIFE

Features, PublicNet: 6 December, 2002

By Ivana La Valle, Sue Arthur, Christine Millward, James Scott with Marion Clayden. A survey of parents with children under 17 revealed substantial numbers working outside ‘normal’ hours. The authors present the survey findings and policy implications for the work-life balance, the Working Time Directive and childcare provision.

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