April 2014

Four eligible areas in England will receive funding to support new and innovative youth employment programmes, as well as a further four smaller regions where youth unemployment is also high. Eligibility for the funding was based on the youth unemployment rate in 2012 in NUTS2 and NUTS3 areas. The final allocations are subject to confirmation by the European Commission, but are expected to be in the region of:

Inner London - £35.7 million
Merseyside - £22.2 million
Tees Valley & Durham - £19.8 million
West Midlands - £42.2 million
Hull - £3.7 million
Leicester - £4.1 million

Scope has published a new report exploring disabled people’s working lives. The report, ‘A million futures’, shows that last year alone, 220,000 more disabled people fell out of work than found a new job. The research found that a lack of flexibility in the workplace is a critical issue.

A number of changes come into effect for benefit claimants from 28 April when the Help to Work scheme goes live. Those people who have not found work after two years on the existing Work Programme will have to enrol on the Help to Work scheme or face reduced benefits.

The Department for Education is seeking views on specific amendments to the 'Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years'. The Code now addresses concerns that there was insufficient focus on disabled children and on post-16 arrangements, particularly the transition to adulthood. There were also calls for more explicit involvement of children and young people and their parents in the design of services, in particular the local offer, which have been reflected in the Code.

The Department for Education has issued updated guidance to local authorities about the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms. The guidance contains useful information to help local areas prepare to implement the SEND reforms introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014. It sets out a timeline for implementation, summarises information on local readiness, and provides answers to some frequently asked questions. They have also written to local authorities to give details of the SEND reform grant which each local authority will receive to implement the reforms.