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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.

Search tip: Please note that when searching for a term or phrase, such as care bill or better care fund, you should frame the words in speech marks – e.g “care bill” or “better care fund”. Search findings are listed chronologically.

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Challenging ‘forced’ academy conversions through the courts

September 29, 2014

This briefing considers two separate legal challenges brought against the Secretary of State for Education concerning decisions to convert two local authority maintained schools into sponsored academies.
Both cases failed in their attempts to overturn these decisions. Nonetheless, there are some valuable lessons for local authorities, school governing bodies and others in considering challenging such decisions in the future.
The main lesson is that neither parental opposition nor strong and improving results are grounds in themselves to question the Secretary of State’s actions. To stop conversion using the courts a claimant must show that the decision was based on “a material error of fact” or had no rational basis.
This briefing will be of interest to cabinet portfolio members overseeing children and education services, senior officers with responsibilities for schools and those legal officers who cover these areas of policy.

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2013: specialising in public mental health

September 29, 2014

The second volume of the annual report of the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has been published. The report has been widely welcomed and in local government has specific relevance for members of health and wellbeing boards, public health professionals, social care and mental health professionals working with both children and young people and older people and those concerned with mental health and employment.

Weekly Policy Summary – 26 September 2014

September 26, 2014

You can also view this briefing as a pdf. Our fringe event at Labour party conference – Building a local health service – was standing room only. See below for our notes from party conference. New to LGiU recently are …

Childminder Agencies and the role of local authorities – DfE guidance

September 25, 2014

This briefing reviews the development of Childminder Agencies and the changes being made to the role of local authorities in the development and funding of early education and childcare. Ofsted registration of Childminder Agencies opened on 1 September, following trials in 19 sites since last summer. Regulations have come into force setting out the minimum requirements for practice support and the continued professional development which is to be given to agency registered childminders and the quality assurance carried out by agencies on care and education provided by their childminders. This briefing will be of particular interest to cabinet portfolio members for children’s services and to officers with responsibility for early education and childcare provision.

A vision for care fit for the twenty-first century: Commission on Residential Care

September 22, 2014

The Commission on Residential Care describes how ‘residential care’ can shift from being a service that most people dread, to one that helps people live the lives they want. It makes recommendations for national and local government, the NHS and other partners. Core to this is a proposal to separate the elements of ‘care’ and ‘housing’ in assessment, commissioning, provision and regulation.

The report presents many interesting ideas which can form the basis for further discussion, but overall it would benefit from presenting a clearer and more coherent vision.

This briefing will be of interest to councillors and officers in councils with adult social care responsibilities, and to all those who seek to improve social care services in their areas.

Weekly Policy Summary – 19.9.2014

September 19, 2014

This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf.   We need real localism, not technocratic tinkering. LGiU Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West has responded to the result of the Scottish independence referendum. Jonathan argues that we should not rush to …

School Exclusion Trial Evaluation – DfE research

September 19, 2014

The School Exclusion Trial requires schools to take responsibility for their permanently excluded pupils, and those at risk of permanent exclusion. The DfE has published a research report School exclusion trial evaluation which considers the benefits of schools having greater responsibility for meeting the needs of permanently excluded pupils and those at risk of permanent exclusion, including the commissioning of alternative provision, and local authorities passing on funding to schools for this purpose. The report found little statistical difference in outcomes for pupils and schools in the trial and for those in a comparator group. It does, however, helpfully describe some of the elements of changing practice to be found. This will be of interest to council members and officers with an interest in behaviour and attendance management, alternative provision, and the way schools can be involved in the commissioning of services.

General Election Campaign: guidance for third party campaigners

September 17, 2014

New rules governing third party political campaigning are being introduced as a result of the ‘Lobbying Act’ and come into force on 19 September 2014. The rules, outlined in this briefing, will have an immediate and ongoing impact on the activities of national and local organisations.

The impact of public spending cuts on women

September 16, 2014

This briefing brings together evidence from Unison, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women’s Budget Group and universities to assess the impact of recent government spending cuts on women.

Report of the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England (Barker report)

September 15, 2014

This briefing summarises and comments on the report of the Barker Commission established by the King’s Fund to look at the future of health and social care in England. The Commission, whose members included a senior officer of the LGA, has made radical recommendations for raising additional funding for public provision for an integrated system of health and social care, commissioned by a single commissioner. The report suggests that Health and Wellbeing Boards might be the single local commissioner of services. It will be of interest to lead members for adult social care and children’s services, council leaders, members of Health and Wellbeing Boards, members of health scrutiny committees, Chief Executives, Directors of adult social care and children’s services and their teams.

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