Leadership training for ministers and senior civil servants

The Government has outlined an ambition to improve the professional skills held by both ministers and senior civil servants. This follows numerous reports and programmes aimed at improving government performance and effectiveness generally, most recently leading to the creation of a National Leadership Centre. This article provides an overview of developments relating to the training of government leaders ahead of a forthcoming debate on the subject.

Leadership training for ministers and senior civil servants

Early years and childcare fees regulations: regret motion

The Early Years Foundation Stage (Miscellaneous Amendments) and Childcare Fees (Amendment) Regulations 2021 come into force on 1 September 2021. They introduce a reception baseline assessment (RBA) for children entering reception class; update the statutory framework that early years providers in England must follow; and continue certain annual registration fee arrangements. The House of Lords is set to debate a motion to regret the changes on the basis that introduction of the RBA should be delayed.

Early years and childcare fees regulations: regret motion

Renewing the UK’s trading relationship with Commonwealth countries

The Commonwealth comprises 54 countries who share a voluntary association. Member states have a combined population of 2.4 billion people and a gross domestic product estimated to have reached US$13 trillion in 2020. Commonwealth heads of government have set an ambition to increase intra-Commonwealth trade to US$2 trillion by 2030. Post-Brexit, the UK Government is pursuing free trade agreements with Commonwealth partners as part of its independent trade policy.

Renewing the UK’s trading relationship with Commonwealth countries
  • Research Briefing

    Social care provision in the UK and the role of carers

    On 24 June 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion on social care provision and the role of carers. The term ‘social care’ can include all forms of personal and practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support, including those who care for others. The policy area is a devolved matter and provision differs across the UK. This briefing provides an overview of the subject.

  • In Focus

    Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill [HL]

    The Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Storey. It would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services to students enrolled at higher education providers in England. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 25 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    Motions on recent changes to planning rules

    The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 introduces several changes to the local planning framework. It makes it easier to convert a wider range of commercial buildings to residential use; allows further development of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and ports; and implements a ‘retain and explain’ policy for certain statues, memorials and monuments. The House of Lords is set to debate motions to reject or ‘regret’ the changes.

  • Research Briefing

    Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

    The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL] makes provision to implement policies set out in the Government’s 'Skills for Jobs' white paper, published in January 2021. Key aims include improving employers’ involvement in planning for local training provision and enabling flexible access to further education and training for adults irrespective of age. The House of Lords is due to debate the bill at second reading on 15 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2021: health and social care

    The 2021 Queen’s Speech is expected to include several health and social care-related measures previously trailed at the start of the 2019–21 session. This article considers recent government announcements on how it plans to progress these in the new session. The Government is also making changes to the public health system in England.

  • In Focus

    Building an inclusive society in the post-pandemic world

    Attendees at a United Nations (UN) summit more than 25 years ago defined an inclusive society as a “society for all”. Policy responses have been introduced in the years since, though questions remain about how progress can be measured. The Covid-19 pandemic has represented a setback towards realising the goal in many areas, but some have identified an opportunity to redouble efforts towards achieving ambitions in the pandemic’s wake.

  • In Focus

    Debate on the Coronavirus Act 2020 and health protection regulations

    The first anniversary of the Coronavirus Act 2020 passing into law will fall on 25 March 2021. Both Houses of Parliament are due to hold debates on this date to consider a one-year status report on the act and its provisions. The House of Lords is also set to consider certain health protection regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 during its debate.

  • In Focus

    Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill

    The Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill would extend the safeguarding and promotion of child welfare duties that currently apply to schools and colleges to cover all providers of publicly funded post-16 education and training. This would include 16–19 academies, institutions providing specialist educational support and independent learning providers delivering apprenticeship or T-level training. The House of Lords is scheduled to consider the bill on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee report

    The House of Lords will soon debate a report by the former Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee. Now dissolved, this special inquiry committee published a report on tackling intergenerational unfairness in April 2019. It alleged that the “action and inaction” of successive governments had risked undermining fairness between generations and called for improvements in six areas to tackle this: accounting for policies and data; housing; education; work; communities; and tax and benefits.

  • In Focus

    Proxy voting and the House of Lords

    Members of the House of Commons may now vote by proxy in certain circumstances. In contrast, the practice has been prohibited in the House of Lords for over 150 years. What is the background to the rule against proxy voting in the second chamber?

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