Weekly political news round up – 22nd August 2014

August 22, 2014 in News by Whitehouse

Around the sector

Ofsted has published updated guidance for inspectors conducting inspections of early years settings, such as nurseries and pre-schools, as well as childminders.

The Department for Education has published leaflets for young people explaining the changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) support system which come into effect on 1st September 2014. The areas covered include help in making decisions about support; the local offer; education, health and care plans; and post-16 options for support.

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on the provision of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in England. The call for evidence was initiated as a result of the Carter Review, an independent review led by Sir Andrew Carter which examined the quality and effectiveness of ITT courses. It asks for views on what effective ITT looks like, how effective ITT provision can be delivered (including to support pupils with arrange of SEN), and the transparency of ITT provision.

NurseryWorld has reported that the government has backtracked on plans to require applicants to have at least a grade C in English and maths before they can begin an early years apprenticeship. In response to concerns from the early years sector that the bar was set too high, the two GCSE qualifications will become an exit, rather than entry, requirement for those taking the apprenticeship. The entry requirements are set to be reviewed again in a year’s time.

Children and Young People Now (CYP Now) has reported that data obtained from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests shows that half of local authorities will be unable to provide free childcare places for disadvantaged two-year-olds, despite an investment of £755m by the government. The FOI requests, carried out by CYP Now, found that 70 of 131 responding local authorities would not be able to deliver the offer to all eligible children. A shortfall of 34,854 places was reported – indicating that 185,000 of the 219,854 eligible two-year-olds will have access to a free childcare place.

NHS England publishes overview of its forthcoming five year strategy

NHS England has published an overview of its forthcoming five year strategy, called the NHS Five Year Forward View (5FYV).  According to the overview, the strategy will set out a clear vision for the role of the NHS in improving the health of the nation, and the required transformation to meet the changing needs of current and future patients. It will set out priority areas for targeting transformation, as well as actions that could be taken nationally to create the conditions for local action.

The overview notes that the 5YFV will examine several issues, including supporting patients be more active and engaged in their own health, the cost and value of the NHS to the UK, and also the role of technology and innovation in “future proofing” the NHS. The strategy is also expected to set out the future prospects for NHS finances, including the potential consequences of not increasing its budget.