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ESFA First Annual Report and Accounts Published

The following is a press release published by the ESFA.

The ESFA has a sound system of governance and internal control, in its first annual report, which the Comptroller and Auditor General has certified, receiving an unqualified audit opinion.

Since 1 April 2017, we have managed and distributed timely and accurately, just over £61 billion to fund all education and training for all 5 to 16 year-olds, and post-16 apprenticeships and skills in England.

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Equality, Diversity and Faith Events and Celebrations Calendars 2018
January 25, 2018

Numerous organisations have created their own versions of equality, diversity and faith calendars for 2018 and three of them can be accessed below.

cipd diversity calendar 2018

UCL calendar 201717-18

Warwick Calendar2017 18

Seeking Disability Sector Champions for 2018
January 9, 2018

The Office for Disability Issues is seeking business people to champion accessibility of products and services for disabled people.

The Office for Disability Issues is seeking disability sector champions in 6 new sectors.

In February 2017, 11 sector champions were announced who are using their influential status as leaders in their sectors to drive improvements to the accessibility, and quality, of services and facilities in their sector.

However, while these champions have all made great progress on this agenda in their respective sectors, there is much more to do to provide equal opportunities and choice for disabled people across the whole of society.

So, they are issuing a call for business people to become sector champions initially for a year, in each of the following sectors:

  • trains
  • technology
  • insurance
  • fashion
  • leisure – pubs, restaurants and so on
  • arts and culture – for example, theatre, cinema, museums

Read more

Iceland Becomes First Country To Legalise Equal Pay
January 4, 2018

A new law making it illegal to pay men more than women has taken effect in Iceland. The legislation, which came into force on Monday, the first day of 2018, makes Iceland the first country in the world to legalise equal pay between men and women.

Under the new rules, companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies. Those that fail to prove pay parity will face fines.

“The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally,” said Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

“It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally,” she said. “We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”

Iceland, home to approximately 323,000 people, has a strong economy, based on tourism and fisheries.

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5 Apps to Help Students with Disabilities
October 13, 2017

AbilityNet’s DSA assessors work with disabled students and those with mental health issues across the country to advise on the best assistive tech to support them in their studies and in managing their lives.

They have identified 5 apps to support students who are autistic, who have dyslexia and students who need help with processing and organisation.

Emergency Chat App
The Emergency Chat App is mainly designed for someone to use when they have an autisic meltdown. The person having the meltdown can bring up a pre-determined message on their phone for those around them. The message would explain what is happening and what they need.

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Apprenticeships for Over-60s
September 12, 2017

Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton says apprenticeships are available for ‘everybody, whatever their background and whatever their age’ and has voiced her backing for apprenticeships for people over the age of 60.

Speaking during education questions in the House of Commons, Ms Milton gave an “assurance” to former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers that apprenticeships were available to everybody, “whatever their background and whatever their age” She told MPs that “over 3,000” people aged 60 and above – an age group that Ms Milton said she “belongs to” – had started an apprenticeship this year. Between August 2016 and April, 3,420 people aged 60 and above started an apprenticeship, compared with 3,560 60-plus learners in 2015-16.

‘We are not writing anybody off’

Ms Milton was also asked by Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne, why the government had “written off” almost 16,000 part-time adult learners.

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A Disability History Timeline
September 8, 2017

This new Timeline aims to document how attitudes towards disability have differed (or not) through the ages and across cultures.

It also marks the contribution of individuals and groups to advancements in health and social care in relation to disability, and it highlights legal and other landmarks in the struggles towards equal rights of disabled people.

It is an interesting read and may be of value to staff/volunteers providing your information, advice and guidance service as well as clients.

To download this document Click Here

Employing People with Disabilities
August 9, 2017

Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, has written the following article which outlines the benefits of employing people with learning disabilities.

“Is professional”, “has a positive outlook”, “is a joy to work with”. These are the kinds of attributes every employer is searching for in an employee. They just also happen to be the words of Richard, a manager at the Thistle Hotel in Kensington, in describing his waitress and barista, Sarah.

Every good manager knows that to get the best out of their team they must give them the right support and training. That’s been an important part of Sarah’s success. Sarah also happens to have a learning disability. Around one in 50 people in the UK have a learning disability, but only 6% of those who are able to work are employed. That’s got to change.

Find out more about employing people with Learning Disabilities from Mencap.

You can find information about Access to Work here: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview

You can sign up to be Disability Confident here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/disability-confident-how-to-sign-up-to-the-employer-scheme

‘Patchy’ Progress with Work Training for Special Needs 
June 5, 2017

A government drive to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities prepare for the world of work is making “patchy” progress, despite plans to make it universal.

In the July 2016 post-16 skills plan, the government declared that “all young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans should undertake a supported internship” unless they have “good reasons not to”.

However, the latest statistics released by the Department for Education show that a total of just 715 young people with statements of special educational needs and EHC plans were on a supported internship in January this year.

David Hughes, the chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said that although many colleges were working with employers to provide “life-changing” supported internships, for the scheme to be fully effective “colleges and employers need to be supported appropriately”.
Read the article

Gender Pay Gap Reporting
April 8, 2017

Gender pay reporting legislation requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.

Reporting may show, for example, that on average men earn 10% more pay per hour than women, that men earn 5% more in bonuses per year than women, or that the lowest paid quarter of the workforce is mostly female. These results must be published on the employers own website and a government site. This means that the gender pay gap will be publicly available, including to customers, employees and potential future recruits.

As a result, employers should consider taking new or faster actions to reduce or eliminate their gender pay gaps.

Regulations for the private and voluntary sectors have now been approved and will commence from April 2017, from which point employers will have up to 12 months to publish this information. Public sector regulations are subject to the approval of Parliament but are expected to follow the same timescale. We will update our guidance following this final approval.

There are two sets of regulations. The first is mainly for the private and voluntary sectors (taking effect from 5 April 2017) and the second is mainly for the public sector (taking effect from 31 March 2017). Employers will have up to 12 months to publish their gender pay gaps.

Key points

  • An employer must comply with the regulations for any year where they have a ‘headcount’ of 250 or more employees on 5 April (where the private and voluntary sector regulations apply) and 31 March (where the public sector regulations apply), but employers of all sizes should consider the advantages.
  • A wider definition of who counts as an employee is used here (from the Equality Act 2010). This means that workers are included, as well as some self-employed people. Agency workers are included, but counted by the agency providing them.
  • Gender pay reporting is a different requirement to carrying out an equal pay audit.
  • There are six calculations to carry out, and the results must be published on the employer’s website and a government website within 12 months. Where applicable, they must be confirmed by an appropriate person, such as a chief executive.
  • Employers have the option to provide a narrative with their calculations. This should generally explain the reasons for the results and give details about actions that are being taken to reduce or eliminate the gender pay gap.
  • While the regulations for the public, private and voluntary sectors are near identical, and the calculations are directly comparable, the public sector regulations also take into account the public sector equality duty.

To download the joint Acas & GEO guide Click Here 

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