Archives for March 31st, 2006

RETHINKING WORKING-CLASS DROP OUT FROM UNIVERSITY

Features, PublicNet: 31 March, 2006

By Jocey Quinn, Liz Thomas, Kim Slack, Lorraine Casey, Wayne Thexton and John Noble Access to university has been seen as a route out of poverty for young working-class people but, many who have entered higher education have been choosing to leave early. The authors explored causes of drop-out and found that the inflexibility of higher education is a major factor. They conclude that leaving early need not be seen as a disaster and they suggest measures to promote lifelong learning.



COUNCILS FACE PLANNING CHALLENGE AS GRANT ALLOCATIONS ARE ANNOUNCED

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 March, 2006

Local authorities still face a challenge to deal with planning applications more efficiently while still making the right decisions. That was the view of Housing and Planning Minister, Yvette Cooper, as she gave details of the final allocations to be made under the Planning Delivery Grant, which rewards local authorities for improved performance in their handling of planning applications.The latest 135 million pounds in grants brings to more than 480 million the amount of Government money injected into the system though the PDG. The minister congratulated successful authorities and said she hoped more would follow their example. “It is great that local planning authorities are already improving their performance. However, there is still a challenge for authorities to deal with applications more efficiently whilst ensuring they make the right decision for their community,” she said.

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STAFF SEE DEALING WITH E-MAIL AS BAR TO PRODUCTIVITY

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 March, 2006

Public sector staff are being overwhelmed by e-mail, according to a study which says many of them see dealing with their electronic inboxes as interfering with their productivity. The problem faces civil servants, council workers, and school and hospital staff.The research was carried out among readers of E- Government Bulletin and was published ahead of next month’s ‘Email management ’06’ national conference, which the specialist publication is sponsoring. Just over half of those questioned for the survey of more than 200 public sector managers and workers said dealing with routine e-mails was a barrier to productivity. The majority of those taking part also felt the time spent sorting through messages would increase over the next year.

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