Archives for October 10th, 2005

NATIONAL EVALUATION OF LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICE AGREEMENTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 10 October, 2005

This first interim report on the Agreements prepared by the Office for Public Management and the Universities of West of England and Cardiff, shows that the initiative has been welcomed by local authorities, but central departments are less enthusiastic. The attractions at the local level are the ability to influence the focus of effort and the reward for achieving targets. The report recognizes that negotiating a dozen or so targets covering policies owned by eight central departments with each of 130 local authorities over a three year period was a hugely ambitious undertaking, and it is not surprising that the process did not always go smoothly and was sometimes characterised by confusion and delay.Aims vary widely between and within authorities, are generally mixed, not always made explicit and often not shared between the leadership and those responsible for delivery. At corporate level delivering improvements in relation to strategic goals is the main driver, with reward grant as a powerful incentive. At service delivery level the emphasis is more on sustained improvement in outcomes. Lack of a coherent shared ‘story’ about the rationale for the LPSA and specific targets leaves progress very vulnerable to changes in personnel.

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NATIONAL ROLL OUT FOR BLACK PUPILS SCHEME

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 October, 2005

A ground-breaking scheme designed to improve educational achievement among black pupils is to be rolled out to 84 schools in 20 local authority areas.The Black Pupils’ Achievement Programme aims to boost success through a tailored leadership and management strategy around effective teaching and learning.The scheme also tackles poor behaviour and bullying, uses mentoring and increases the involvement of parents. Each school taking part has to appoint a member of its senior leadership team to draw up an action plan to drive forward the changes. The expanded programme follows the success of the African-Caribbean Achievement Project that was piloted in 30 schools across England from November 2003.

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CAMPAIGN WANTS BETTER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 October, 2005

The Government, health trusts and family doctors are facing a demand today that they act together to ensure that older people get the same level and quality of mental health care as everyone else. The call comes from the mental health charity Mind, which has published what it calls “a deeply disturbing report” into older people’s experiences of mental health servicesThe report, “Access All Ages”, raises a number of key concerns including the cut-off of services available for people over 65, a lack of treatment choice and the lack of a specific suicide prevention policy despite very high suicide rates. The report also finds that the prescription of electro-convulsive therapy doubles for older people and it points to age discrimination by GPs, including lack of drugs information

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