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Information bulletin - April 2016

Community learning and development plans 2015-18: Planning for change in Scotland's communities

Education Scotland have published a new report, ‘Community learning and development plans 2015-18: Planning for change in Scotland's communities'.  The report focuses on the plans published under the CLD Regulations in September 2015 and explores the role and impact of proposed CLD provision 2015-18. It considers the distinctive nature of CLD activities and the ways in which these activities contribute to local and national objectives. The report offers an indication of the ways in which CLD provision is changing to reflect the national context and will serve as a baseline for future analysis of plans made under the CLD regulations in coming years.

New welfare agency announced for Scotland

The Scottish Government has unveiled plans for a new welfare agency, to deliver welfare powers promised under the Scotland Bill. Scottish ministers say the new department will provide a more compassionate, streamlined service for claimants of the eleven benefits being devolved.

Bookdonors

Scotland's social enterprise book store is bringing a conscience to online book sales with the launch of a new website. Bookdonors trades in new and used books for the benefit of people, charities and the environment. All of its sales fulfil its triple social mission to provide flexible and adaptable employment opportunities, to help protect the environment by promoting re-use and to provide additional income to a range of charities.  

Read On Get On campaign petition

In advance of the Scottish Parliament elections in May, the Read On. Get On. Coalition is calling for all political parties to make a manifesto commitment to ensure every child is reading well by the end of primary school, and to make this happen by 2025. » Read more here.

Manifestos for the Scottish Parliament election 2016

A number of manifestos are being launched in the run-up to the Holyrood elections, to influence the decisions made by whichever party forms the next Scottish Government. Together has a handy new page on its website bringing all of the manifestos together. » Access it here.

Glasgow: Health in a Changing City                                                                      
Glasgow Centre for Population Health's new report, Glasgow: health in a changing city looks in detail at how health and life expectancy are changing in Glasgow and each of its 56 neighbourhoods, and the links to the changes over the last 20 years to the city's population, housing, environmental and socioeconomic circumstances. The report provides an up-to-date overview of the current picture and trends on life expectancy in the city.

Book a role model online with Champions in Scotland

Champions in Scotland is providing an opportunity for schools, clubs or community groups to request a visit from one of Scotland's top athletes by using its Find a Champion tool on its website. Champions in Scotland delivers interactive workshops titled 'Success through effort' and 'Learning from Failure', to inspire young people to achieve their personal best.

Community Development

Local People Leading - A Vision for a Stronger Community Sector.

Scotland's community-based networks have collaborated over a six-month period to produce this joint vision of how Scotland's community sector can grow and develop.

Community Empowerment Act

The Scottish Government has published consultations on three key elements of the Community Empowerment Act - asset transfer, community right to buy and participation requests. Deadline for responses are mid-June.

Criminal Justice

Consultation on the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

This month marked a significant moment in Scotland's youth justice landscape, with the Scottish Government launching a consultation on the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Open until 10 June 2016, the consultation asks whether the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) should be raised from 8 years of age to 12 years of age in Scotland.

Learning Through Play Together

Early Years Scotland's prison based ‘Learning Through Play Together' programme is the subject of a short film produced by the Community television channel. The film-makers were granted access to HMP Low Moss near Glasgow and spoke to prisoners and Early Years Scotland and Prison staff about the programme. The programme provides a qualified early years practitioner who works directly with prisoners to encourage attachment and an understanding of their children's development and the importance of play, including family sessions designed to support the prisoner and his young child and family working together. You can view the film on Early Years Scotland's You Tube Channel.

Secure Care in Scotland, Looking Ahead

Thursday 21 April 2016, 10am - 3pm
The Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Collins Building, University of Strathclyde, 22 Richmond Street, Glasgow. CYCJ and With Scotland are holding a FREE one day stakeholder event for sector leads, aimed at decision makers, senior policy, planning, operational, commissioning and practice managers who are concerned with the future of secure care and meeting the needs of our most vulnerable and troubled, high risk young people.
Registration for this event has now closed, however there are a limited number of spaces still available - please email cycj@strath.ac.uk as soon as possible to register for this event.

Youth Offending - Perceptions of the 'Problem

Wednesday 4 May 2016, 5.30 - 7.30pm
This event is an opportunity for communities, young people and researchers to come together to examine, from different perspectives, the issue of youth offending. To register please go to; www.engage.strath.ac.uk/event/269/

Funding

£2 million additional investment allocated

Charities supporting children, families and adult learning are invited to apply for a share of a new project fund that will award £2 million over the next two years. The Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund has already supported over 100 third sector organisations, benefiting thousands of children, families and communities across Scotland, by providing more than £14 million worth of core funding that enables them to deliver their services.  This new element of the fund is designed to enable charities to bid for project funding that will allow them to deliver fresh and innovative ideas, beyond their core work.

Welfare Reform

ATOS: Text Relay Service

Atos do not have a text phone service, and this has raised questions on how deaf customers would make contact. Atos use Text Relay which allows the caller to connect using their own text phone. To use the Text Relay service, using a text phone, customers should dial 18001 in front of the PIP Customer Service number (check here to find the number to call based on your postcode ). They are then connected to Atos but using their own text-phone. When calling a customer with a text phone service, Atos will put 18002 in front of the number and can then talk directly to the customer via their text-phone. Atos have updated their website with a new FAQ to include this information, and are also planning to publicise this in their claimant leaflet "Understanding your PIP Assessment" which is currently being updated.

Jobseeker's Allowance Sanctions - Early Warning Trial

DWP is launching a new ‘Early Warning' trial in Scotland within the JSA sanctions process. The trial will give jobseekers an extra 14 days to provide further evidence of reasons for non-compliance when a sanction is likely to be imposed.  The trial will launch in March with the collection of baseline data, with the trial process beginning for claimants on the 25th April. The trial will run in three of the four Scottish Jobcentre Plus Districts. The exception will be the Jobcentres in the North of Scotland District as they will provide the control data for the trial evaluation. The trial will include JSA claimants only and cover both Jobcentre Plus referrals and Work Programme referrals.  It will only apply to those facing a high or low level sanction - intermediate disallowances and sanctions are not included. During the trial, claimants who are referred for a decision will have their case considered just as it is at the moment. Decision Makers may still contact claimants to request information or clarification at this stage. If the Decision Maker determines that a sanction is not appropriate, the current process will apply. However, if a Decision Maker thinks, based on the initial evidence, that the claimant should be subject to a sanction, they will send a letter, warning the claimant that there is good case for a sanction to be applied, and encouraging the claimant to send in any more information or evidence that they have of good reason for their failure to comply. The Decision Maker will allow 14 days for this new evidence to be produced, giving claimants an additional opportunity to present information, and allowing more vulnerable claimants to access support services to assist them. It is important that claimants provide as much information as possible about the reasons for their failure so that Decision Makers can make decisions based on all of the evidence. After the 14 day period has ended, a Decision Maker will reconsider the case in light of any new or additional evidence provided and will decide whether the claimant should be sanctioned. The process for Mandatory Reconsiderations and appeals will remain the same. The trial will end in summer 2016 and initial evaluation will be available in the autumn, with full evaluation available from early 2017. This evaluation will inform decisions on national rollout. If you have any queries about this trial, please contact DWP by e-mail at EARLY.WARNINGTRIAL@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

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