December 2012

The Education Select Committee has released its pre-legislative scrutiny report of the draft SEN provisions of the Children and Families bill. The Select Committee were invited by the Department for Education to lead the pre-legislative scrutiny process of the provisions in the autumn. In their report the Committee welcomes the overall direction of the Government's proposed legislation, but states that the lack of statutory duties on health services is a significant weakness and that strengthening these duties is critical to its success.

A nationwide study by MetLife has found that 43% of people aged between 50 and 60 currently out of work say illness or disability stops them finding a job compared with just 26% saying they are unemployed or currently unable to find a job.

Or is it? The theme for 2012 is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”. So how are we doing around employment?

DWP has published qualitative research into the early delivery of the Work Programme. The report covers the first phase of qualitative research investigating delivery and experience of the programme up until the end of June 2012. Fieldwork included qualitative in-depth interviews with participants, Jobcentre Plus and provider staff and observations of provider-participant meetings. The qualitative evaluation focuses on 12 local authority areas across 6 contract package areas involving 11 different prime providers and their subcontractors. The research suggests: