Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Voting age – “Under current legislation, a person must be 18 or over to vote in elections to the UK Parliament. This Note gives details of calls for a change in the law to reduce the voting age to 16 in recent years.”
Animal Sentience and Brexit – “The Government is reviewing the recognition of animal sentience and the need for UK legislation after Brexit. It has also announced it will legislate to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences.
The EU Withdrawal Act 2008 did not include provision to transfer the principle contained in Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty recognising animals as sentient beings into UK legislation. This raised concerns amongst animal welfare campaigners as UK law, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, does not explicitly recognise the term although it does acknowledge that animals can experience suffering and pain.”
Update on the sale of student loans – “This House of Commons library paper gives an overview of the first sale of a tranche of English income-contingent student loans. It gives background to the sale and discusses the impact of the sale on borrowers and whether value for money was achieved by the sale. .“
The European Union
Unequal uptake of higher education mobility in the UK – “Student mobility is the most recognised element of Erasmus+, a major EU policy which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. It is clearly popular with an increase in student uptake from 3.2 to 272.5 thousands from 1987 to 2014. Recent studies show that studying abroad provides benefits like improved employment chances and language competences. These benefits are not equally distributed among graduates, since recent literature shows that disadvantaged students are less likely to study abroad than better off students. This is explained by differing social capital of individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds which impacts on different choices. However, not much is known about the role of social segregation in universities and subjects studied…”
Investing in Europe’s future – “The role of education and skills – A coherent and forward-looking plan for education and skills will boost innovation, contribute to the technology race, improve the pool of skills and enhance equal opportunities.”
Futures of work – “The work presented in this report attempts to explore other realms about the future(s) of work beyond the strongly driven narrative of digital transformation. We have addressed one particular grassroots community, the Maker Movement, which is de facto enabling new models of education, collaborative work, and manufacture. Movements like the Maker Movement can be inspirational of policy making in areas of great complexity and uncertainties as work, employment, jobs are. We suggest that debates about futures of work need to mobilise the imagination, insights and expectations of wide ranges of society. Policy making should be nurturing necessary studies, experiments and conversations until some resilient ideas are found.“
The Scottish Parliament and Government
The value of bathing waters and the influence of bathing water quality: Final Research Report – “The overall aim of the research was to provide a detailed and quantifiable socio-economic understanding of the value of Scottish bathing waters and the influence of bathing water quality (BWQ) to bathers, beach users and to the national and local economies.
The research addressed four key objectives:
1. To assess the benefits of bathing waters and the value of bathing water quality at a local and national scale;
2. To assess the impact of the bathing water quality classification signs / symbols;
3. To understand and assess the benefits (or costs) of an improvement (or deterioration) in bathing water quality classification; and
4. To make recommendations for policy and practice, by providing recommendations on the management and assessment of designated bathing water sites, and the overall value of bathing water quality in Scotland.
The project brought together a number of perspectives on what the value of beaches and bathing water quality mean to users of beaches in Scotland. A mixed methods approach was adopted which allowed the economic, recreational, social and emotional value of bathing waters to be investigated, providing a holistic understanding grounded in people’s experience.”
Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan: Every Life Matters – “This document sets out the Scottish Government’s plan – working with our partners – to achieve those objectives. It lists the actions which leaders at a national, regional and local level must take to transform society’s response and attitudes towards suicide. Crucially, those actions extend beyond Health and Social Care. The approach we’ve set out is a cross-government one – which recognises the need for further collective action to prevent deaths by suicide.”
Exploring parents’ views and use of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland – “In 2017, the Scottish Government appointed independent researchers, Craigforth, to undertake a nationally representative survey and follow up qualitative research with parents and carers of children under the age of six. The overall aim of the study was to provide up to date information on parents’ and carers’ current use, future potential use, views and experiences of early learning and childcare.
A total of 10,526 valid survey responses were received, and follow-up discussion groups and telephone interviews were conducted with 63 survey respondents expressing an interest in discussing their views and experiences in more detail.”
Office for National Statistics
Drug-related deaths “deep dive” into coroners’ records – “Office for National Statistics (ONS) regularly publishes analyses of drug-related deaths and suicides, based on the information provided by coroners through the death registration process. In 2017, Public Health England (PHE) commissioned an experimental “deep dive” study, which was carried out on a sample of 115 drug misuse deaths, with ONS staff visiting coroners’ offices across England to review the available records in detail and record selected additional information using a structured electronic questionnaire. The sample included both suicides and unintentional overdose deaths.“
Changing trends in mortality: an international comparison: 2000 to 2016 – “This article presents analysis of period life expectancies and age-standardised mortality rates to identify in which countries, and to what extent, the slowdown in mortality improvements has occurred. In addition to age, we have compared mortality rates by sex since women tend to have longer life expectancies than men. This allows us to discover whether there are specific subgroups of the population influencing the overall trends.”
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