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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.”

Published:
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.”

Published:
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

Youth offending - vandals

Youth Offending: the delivery of community and custodial sentences

“The Youth Justice Board has done much to implement reforms to the youth justice system, but more needs to be done to rehabilitate young offenders within the community to reduce risks of reoffending. The movement of young offenders from one institution to another can be unsettling for offenders, breaking developing relationships with those responsible for their supervision, and disrupting educational and other programmes intended to help prevent reoffending. Better assessment of custodial needs, and more recognition of offenders’ progress with their programmes when deciding who to move, would be beneficial.

“And better co-ordination by all agencies involved in supervising young offenders in the community or in providing appropriate support services for such young people would reduce uncertainty for some offenders about accommodation, education or employment on completion of their sentence.”

Published:
21 Jan 2004

Making a Difference: Performance of Maintained Secondary Schools in England

When measuring the performance of maintained schools in improving the academic achievements of their pupils, the Department for Education and Skills should take account of newly available data on the academic achievements of the pupils in earlier stages of their education and on aspects of their economic, social and cultural backgrounds. This recommendation appears in … Read more

Report cover showing children with exam results

Making a Difference: Performance of Maintained Secondary Schools in England

“Measuring and comparing the performance of schools are vital to the task of improving the education of our children. The Department and Ofsted are now able to take into account the influence of external factors in order to analyse the difference that schools make to the academic achievements of their pupils. This provides a more robust and objective assessment of the relative performance of schools, and gives policy makers a firmer basis for targeting their efforts on those schools most in need of support.”

Published:
28 Nov 2003
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Child Support Agency Client Funds Account 2001-2002

“I continue to be concerned at the high level of error in maintenance assessments and I have had to qualify my audit opinion on this account yet again. It is disappointing that the Child Support Reforms aimed at improving the accuracy of maintenance assessments, had to be delayed because testing on a new computer system had not been completed. But it is prudent not to introduce the reforms until it is shown that the system can be operated to specified standards.”

Published:
23 Jul 2002