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Improving poorly performing schools

A large proportion of schools in England provide high standards of education, with pupil attainment improving in primary and secondary schools. However, some schools are performing less well. The Department for Education and Skills and Ofsted use several definitions to identify schools that are performing poorly and need additional support; among the 1,557 schools included … Read more

11 Jan 2006
Report cover showing pupils entering school

Improving school attendance in England

“Better attendance at school by pupils improves their educational achievements and, in turn, their lives and prospects. Even a small reduction in absence would result in many pupils receiving greater benefit from their education.

“The rate of absence from schools in England has proved difficult to reduce. However, the efforts of the Department for Education and Skills, local authorities and schools are starting to have an impact. They must keep up the momentum and reinforce in schools and among parents and pupils the importance of attending school.”

4 Feb 2005
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Helping Those in Financial Hardship: The Running of the Social Fund

“The Social Fund provides an important safety net for some of the most vulnerable in society, many of whom will have limited or no access to affordable credit and mainstream financial services. The Social Fund is reaching many people in need. But the Department needs to raise awareness of it both with potentially eligible customers and its own staff.

“I am pleased that the Department is improving its debt recovery procedures and standardising the process for dealing with Social Fund applications across the country. But I am concerned about the standard of decision-making on Social Fund applications, as evidenced by the high number of errors on certain awards.”

13 Jan 2005

Skills for life: improving adult literacy and numeracy

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that the Department for Education and Skills has made a good start to its long-term strategy to improve the levels of adult literacy and numeracy in England, but there are more challenges ahead. While the Skills for Life Strategy has met its 2004 target, … Read more

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Skills for life: improving adult literacy and numeracy

“Higher levels of literacy and numeracy will benefit England both socially and economically. More people will have the opportunity to live richer lives. The Department has made substantial progress since 2001 in improving the teaching of literacy and numeracy and making more people aware of the options and wanting to learn. But this is only the beginning. The Department and its partners will need to be creative and responsive if they are to reach another 1.5 million people by 2010. My report sets out some of the steps they need to take if they are to succeed.”

15 Dec 2004

Early Years: Progress in Developing High Quality Childcare and Early Education Accessible to All

Nearly 100,000 new childcare places have been created for pre-school children since 1998 and the Government is on course to meet its targets for the provision of free part-time early education for three- and four-year-olds. But Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that more needs to be done to ensure … Read more

Cover of Early Years report

Early Years: Progress in Developing High Quality Childcare and Early Education Accessible to All

“The Government has made impressive progress in creating new childcare places and in providing early education for pre-school children since 1998, but not enough of these new places are yet in deprived areas where they would most benefit children and parents. The Government’s investment will be wasted if the new provision is not viable. More training is needed, especially for childminders, and providers need more support to help them manage their businesses.”

27 Feb 2004

Youth Offending: the delivery of community and custodial sentences

Head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn reported to Parliament today that the Youth Justice Board, established in September 1998, has successfully developed and introduced a range of new non-custodial sentences and programmes for young offenders. There is scope, however, for the Board to improve forecasting of custodial numbers, deciding of placements and … Read more