Home > Legal Opinions tagged Public Sector

  • an end to exclusivity clauses

    Helen Taylor

    Following a six month consultation, the Government has yesterday introduced legislation to ban exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts. It is thought that the ban will be pushed through before next year’s general election. Exclusivity clauses, which are estimated to affect 125,000 workers in the UK, operate to prevent zero-hours workers from working for another employer, […]

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  • what hours do (other) in house lawyers work?

    Richard Nicholas

    It’s a question that gets asked frequently at our regular in house lawyer forums. The consensus typically is that in-house work now demands relatively long hours – with relatively little recognition from within the business of the work that’s involved. But is this true, or is this just the perception of the hard working lawyers […]

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  • UK language skills shortage is alarming

    Briege Slattery

    The British Council (the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations) has reported that there is an “alarming shortage” of language skills in the UK and will result in us losing out both economically and culturally. The report suggests that schools should teach a wider range of languages and that they should be […]

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  • protecting the public purse 2013

    Steven Conway

    The Audit Commission has published a report, Protecting the Public Purse 2013 which confirms that the cost of fraudulent insurance claims against local authorities is on the rise. In 2012/2013 the value of fraudulent insurance claims against local authorities increased by £1 million to £3 million compared to the previous year. However, the number of […]

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  • teachers’ unions announce national autumn strike in England

    Hayley Prescott

    The NUT and NASUWT are threatening to call a one-day national strike before Christmas, in addition to the regional strikes already planned for 1 October and 17 October. The unions have not set a date for the national strike, and it’s believed that the date will be set once the regional strikes have taken place. […]

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  • Are you ready for secondary school?

    Chirag Rao

    A consultation has been launched to introduce a new system that will set out what a child needs to achieve to be ready for secondary school and to boost standards in primary schools. A rise in pupil premium to £1,300 per pupil is planned, and if rolled out it would be the biggest ever rise […]

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  • Spending Review – raising standards or filling gaps in education?

    Richard Freeth

    The spending review has provided some relief to the education sector as the schools budget was protected. Alongside that protection was funding for a further 180 free schools, 20 university technical colleges and 20 studio schools. This forms part of the ongoing policy to bring greater diversity to the education sector and raise standards through […]

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  • Preventing and tackling bullying – Advice for headteachers, ...

    Steven Conway

    The Department for Education has published new guidance on preventing and tackling bullying in schools. The guidance sets out the legal obligations and powers of schools to tackle bullying and the underlying principles of existing effective anti-bullying strategies and includes guidance on cyber-bullying and bullying outside of school premises. The guidance is clear and welcome […]

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  • Should schools be condemned for introducing health and safety to c...

    Mark Fowles

    Dedham Primary School, Essex has recently been mocked for an activity involving reception class children being sent to risk assess their outdoor play area. The school is accused of “killing the joys of childhood” and other offences generally prefaced with “what is the world coming to…” Whether we believe that children of four and five […]

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  • Doctors to face their own checkups

    Gemma Steele

    The Government have given the go ahead to begin revalidation over a decade after the system was first recommended. GPs and other doctors will begin to be revalidated in December with the majority being completed by April 2016. The designated responsible officers, usually the medical director, will be revalidated first and they in turn will […]

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  • A move towards a private sector model of teachers pay?

    Heather Mitchell

    In last week’s budget the Government confirmed its intention to move away from National Pay & Conditions for teachers and make public sector salaries ‘market-facing’ in local areas, arguing that the quality of services would increase if salaries were locally responsive. The Cabinet Office Workforce Reform team is working with departments to develop an agreed […]

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  • Parkie takes a tumble …

    Jonathan Cook

    A park warden slipped on ice while erecting a “keep off the ice” warning sign. Needless to say, he has claimed for compensation and the council has felt obliged to settle out of court. In my opinion, until the court’s start to heed the general public’s perception that “health and safety laws have gone mad”, […]

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  • Central Government bans use of PQQs in sub-threshold tenders

    Alex Kynoch

    The Cabinet Office has issued guidance on the use of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) by central government departments intended to improve access for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are concerned that the administrative burdens of complying with public sector procurement requirements have a disproportionate impact on smaller businesses, which this guidance is intended to address. […]

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  • NHS Commissioning Board structure up for approval

    Jonathan Hayden

    The future structure and operation of the NHS Commissioning Board is set to be discussed at its board meeting this week. Its board will consider a 63-page document outlining the NHS Commissioning Board’s future structure. It will have an “hour glass” shape – an 800-strong central office, four commissioning sectors (based on SHA cluster locations) […]

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  • Creating a more “cloud-friendly” Europe

    Richard Nicholas

    At the World Economic Forum recently Neelie Kroes announced the setting up of the “Cloud Partnership”. With it she announced a policy to increase the uptake of cloud computing throughout Europe through the creation of common standards and regulation, together with an initial investment of Euro 10 Million from the European Commission to make it […]

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  • A stop to league table ‘incentives’?

    Laura Richards

    The current examination system is said to encourage schools to focus their teaching towards the actual exam, rather than providing a general overview of the subject. The purpose of new league tables, due out next week, is to incentivise schools to raise standards and teaching for all pupils, instead of encouraging them to jump through […]

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  • No notice Ofsted inspections – a logical progression?

    Laura Richards

    Ofsted’s new chief has announced the current two day notice before an inspection is set to be replaced with a no notice system for inspections for all schools in England from autumn. Some schools believe these changes are a result of recent claims that schools attempt to portray a stronger impression during Ofsted inspections by […]

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  • UK Government calls for input on public procurement reform

    Alex Kynoch

    Just before Christmas the UK Government requested input from various bodies across the UK on the EU Commission’s legislative proposals for a reform of public procurement. Both the Commission and the Government have stated that procurement reform is a priority in 2012 so we are hoping to see some progress made over the next 12 […]

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  • Public sector leaders fear increased private sector collaboration

    Bridget Tatham

    Around half of public sector senior leaders have expressed concerns over growing public-private sector collaborations according to a recent report by global management consulting firm the Hay Group. The report, Relationship Counselling, surveyed around 200 senior leaders from local government, healthcare, uniformed services and universities. The report highlights growing opposition and resentment to closer ties […]

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  • New public procurement thresholds published

    Alex Kynoch

    The updated public procurement thresholds came into force on 1 January 2012. As the first working day of the New Year for many, today is likely to be the first day of their practical application. Whilst the Regulation sets out the thresholds in Euros the equivalent in Sterling has also been published. The limit for […]

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