LGiU Policy Briefings
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LGiU briefings can be accessed by elected members and officers in LGiU member authorities – and those on free trials. Check if your authority is a member or on a free trial. Briefings can also be downloaded at a cost to non-members.
Our briefings are written by our network of LGiU Associates. Find out more about our briefing authors here.
March 14, 2014
This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf: Weekly Policy Summary – 14.03.14 As part of the new LGiU Policy Network, we want to know how policy works in your council. This survey for policy leads will help …
March 14, 2014
This briefing is on the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) Twenty – Third Report published on 13 February 2014 The areas of consideration for this body’s twenty -third report, advising the Government on teachers’ pay and conditions, are set out in the Secretary of State’s remit letter of 17 April 2013.
This briefing will be of interest to head teachers, teachers, governors, local authorities and parents as well as national organisations involved in education policy development in this area.
March 14, 2014
In their recent report titled School vouchers for England, the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Market Reform of Education, argue in favour of introducing a voucher system to fund state education in the UK.
Their proposed reforms include rationalising the free school process, liberalising planning laws and introducing systematic differentiation of funding. These would enable competition to be injected into the education system, driving up standards, with clear cash incentives for raising the attainment and achievement of children from low income backgrounds whose vouchers would be worth more. Through their proposed reforms, profit making schools could be allowed to partake in the provision of state funded education.
This briefing will be of interest to elected members, senior officers and policy makers concerned with improving the school system in order to narrow the gap between poor children and their wealthier peers. In particular, those with an interest in neo-liberal economic solutions will find the report of use.
March 13, 2014
DfE commissioned research School Performance and Parental Choice of School considers whether parental choice in school admissions works well in an increasingly autonomous system. It has not been able to adequately answer this question due to deficiencies in data made available for analysis, but its review of purposes, research and interventions in this area is nevertheless interesting, and directly addresses the policy differences between those seeking to liberate markets and those seeking to manage them.
This briefing will be of interest to elected members and officers with an interest in school organisation and parental choice.
March 13, 2014
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will deliver his 2014 Budget on 19 March 2014.
This briefing provides a preview of the statement’s likely key issues by reviewing key Budget submissions made to the Treasury together with the press coverage in the lead up the statement.
The Chancellor is under pressure to produce cuts in taxation for next year to pre-empt possible interest rate increases in 2015. This Budget is probably his last opportunity to deliver such measures so that they feed into taxpayers’ pockets before the 2015 General Election. This may involve further increases in personal tax allowances or even an increase in the 40% tax rate threshold.
Meanwhile the Local Government Association are calling for a range of measures which would give councils greater financial flexibility over the next two years and to promote local growth and protect and improve local public services.
This briefing will be of particular interest to members and officers in all authorities concerned with finance and strategic planning.
March 13, 2014
The DfE is consulting (closing date 10 April) on proposed new regulations to allow the Secretary of State for Education to bar people from taking part in the management of independent schools in England, including academies and free schools. The regulations are intended to strengthen existing provisions, with two particular aims: protecting children and young people from contact with people who are unsuitable because ‘that person’s behaviour presents an unacceptable example to them’, this includes extremism; and protecting schools and the education service from fraud or deception.
This briefing will be of interest to members and senior staff with responsibility for education and/or community leadership.
March 13, 2014
In this report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, there is a review of the evidence on the links between growth and poverty in UK cities. There is also a review of the strategies and initiatives promoted by city councils to support both economic growth and poverty reduction.
There is a strong link between employment growth and poverty reduction, but the relationship between output growth and employment growth is unclear. High performing cities tend to boost earnings at the higher end of the distribution, and put pressure on living costs which worsens poverty.
Among the initiatives pursued by cities are Living Wage campaigns, bespoke skills training and employment services targeted at large employment-generating projects. City councils have an important role to play in bringing together strategic partnerships.
This briefing will be of interest to members and officers in all types of authorities with an interest in economic development, employment creation, and poverty reduction.
March 11, 2014
The National Audit Office has published a progress report on the Regional Growth Fund (“Progress report on the Regional Growth Fund”) following their and the Public Accounts Committee’s value for money reports in 2012.
They found that governance has been improved with the process of making final funding offers speeded up. Nonetheless significant challenges remain, particularly in 2014-15 when £1.4 billion needs to be spent, largely because the funding has not been distributed as quickly as originally expected.
The NAO’s earlier report found that value for money was not being optimised as a significant proportion of the funding had been allocated to schemes which offered relatively few jobs; consequently the Public Accounts Committee called for the value for money threshold to be raised.
In this new report the NAO do not provide for an undated value for money conclusion; but warn that value for money depends on further tightening controls on the jobs and other benefits that bids offer, relative to their cost.
This briefing will be of interest to elected members and cabinet portfolio members and senior officers with responsibilities in economic regeneration and related functions in finance and legal.
March 10, 2014
• This briefing summarises and comments on the recent report of the House of Commons Health Committee on public expenditure on health and social care.
• The report ranges widely over a number of important and topical issues in health and social care, including:
- allocation of resources
- deficits in NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts
- integration of health and social care
- reconfiguration of services
- system leadership
- ‘cherry picking’ of patients
• The report touches on a number of issues of particular concern to local authorities, including the strategic commissioning and ‘system leadership’ role of health and wellbeing boards which the Committee believes should be strengthened.
• The Committee concludes that:
- the NHS has provided savings during the first two years of the programme, but there is a question about how sustainable they are
- all possible straightforward savings have now been made
- the transformation of care that will be required to make the NHS sustainable in the future and able to deal with increasing demand has yet to take place.
• The briefing will be of interest to council Leaders, portfolio holders for health and social care, chairs of health and wellbeing boards and officers with health and social care responsibilities, including finance directors.
March 10, 2014
The Child Poverty Act 2010 established a legal requirement for the UK Government to meet four targets for child poverty reduction by 2020.
The 2010 Act requires the UK Government to publish and update a UK child poverty strategy every three years. The Coalition’s first child poverty strategy was published in April 2011. On 27 February 2014 the Coalition published its second child poverty strategy.
The 2010 Act also placed a duty on Local authorities in England to reduce child poverty
This briefing summarises the key points of the 2014-17 UK Child Poverty Strategy.
It will of interest to members and officers with responsibility for children’s services and education but also to all members and officers in all types of authorities with an interest in poverty reduction, welfare reform, and civil society.