Weekly political news round up – 15th August 2014

August 15, 2014 in News by Whitehouse

Around the sector

NICE has launched a consultation on a draft quality standard for urinary incontinence in women (aged 18 and over). NICE also published the outcome of the four year surveillance review for lower urinary tract symptoms in men (aged 18 and over), which found that no changes will be made other than to provide an update on the effectiveness of PDE5 inhibitors in treating lower urinary tract symptoms.

Both the House of Commons and House of Lords are currently in parliamentary recess. The House of Commons will return on 1st September 2014 for two weeks before rising again for the party conference season. The House of Lords will sit again on the 13th October 2014.

Government confirms the responsibilities of Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah

The Government has confirmed the responsibilities of the new Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah. Gyimah, who was appointed a little over three weeks ago, will be responsible for the following areas:

  • early years funding and delivery of free entitlements
  • childcare availability and market
  • childcare workforce, quality and regulation
  • early years education and the early years foundation stage (EYFS)
  • wraparound childcare provision
  • DfE links to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Department for Education publishes update on SEND pathfinders

The Department for Education has published the results from the second stage of its evaluation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme. It includes:

  • an overall evaluation of the SEND pathfinder programme;
  • an evaluation of collaborative working with health;
  • an evaluation of engagement of schools; and
  • an evaluation of the transition to and engagement of post-16 providers.

The pathfinder evaluations found that the pathfinders were more effective in areas where relevant bodies are working together and communicating effectively – especially where health bodies are involved throughout the process. The overall conclusion of the evaluation is that where practitioners and parents are well informed, the reforms are working well. However, the evaluations imply that where implementation has been poorly managed and when those involved – whether they are parents or practitioners – do not know their rights, responsibilities or options, the reforms are not functioning. This is highlighted in the evaluation of EHC Plan assessments, where satisfaction is linked to levels of communication between parties. Ultimately, the evaluations imply that resources will determine how well the reforms work, as those responsible for implementation may find themselves too stretched.

The Department for Education also published guidance for parents on how the new SEND system works, including the law and statutory guidance on which the system is based; places to go for help and further information; and details about changes to the system from 1st September 2014.

Health Education England board approves proposals for restructuring

Health Service Journal has reported that Health Education England’s (HEE) board has approved proposals for the restructuring of its organisation. The proposals, which were drawn up to save money and improve efficiency, will see all 13 local education and training boards (LETBs) lose their managing directors, directors of finance and directors of education. Replacing them will be four new national directors responsible for geographical regions across England.