Archives for June 27th, 2006

BUCKING THE TREND

Book News, PublicNet: 27 June, 2006

This report from the Department of Work and Pensions builds on earlier research showing the importance of work for parents if their children are to break out of cycles of deprivation. Children who live in poverty are more likely to grow up to be poor, with 16-year-olds growing up in a household where no parent works at higher risk of still being in poverty at age 30. Children who are poor but have parents who take an interest in their schooling and read to them when they are young are more likely to pull themselves out of poverty.The report shows that a father’s level of interest in his son’s education has a significant impact on how well he does at school. Having a father with little or no interest in their education reduces their chances of bucking the trend by 25%. A mother’s interest has a similarly big impact on the performance of her daughter in the classroom. It also shows that early educational achievement is key if a child in a poor household is to lift themselves out of poverty by the age of 30. It finds that parents can play a central role in influencing how well their offspring do.

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ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVOUR TROUBLE- SHOOTING SQUAD LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 June, 2006

The latest move in the Government’s ‘Respect Agenda’ to tackle anti-social behaviour is the creation of trouble shooting squad to tackle incidents of persistent anti-social behaviour. The squad of ten members is made up from experienced frontline staff from the police and local authorities who all have a successful track record of tackling anti-social behaviour.The squad has been created ostensibly to support the police and local authorities who ask for extra support. Some, however, view it as a spur to action where severe cases are going unchecked. This view is supported by the ‘call in’ arrangements which allow not only local councils, crime and disorder reduction partnerships and police chiefs to trigger action, but also councillors and MPs. Further support for the view that the initiative is more a lever than a delivery vehicle comes from provision for the squad to make their assessment available to the public, so reinforcing residents’ power to demand action. The squad can also intervene where evidence demonstrates insufficient action has been taken by agencies.

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SATISFIED CUSTOMERS TO KEEP INSPECTORS AWAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 June, 2006

Local councils, schools, NHS trusts and the police will be able to encourage their inspecting bodies to keep away by getting a new style ‘charter mark’. If proposals are accepted from an independent review, public bodies will be able to secure a seal of quality by demonstrating a commitment to continual improvement and evidence of customer satisfaction.The ‘charter mark’ scheme was introduced 14 years ago and the review found that although organisations that had received the award performed better than others, it carried little prestige and was not widely used across the public sector.

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