Consultation on 16 to 19 vocational reforms – more details here
The Government is seeking views on its proposals to establish ‘rigorous standards for level 3 vocational qualifications taken by 16 to 19-year-olds in schools and colleges from September 2014, so that only high value qualifications count in performance tables’. Views are specifically sought on the following proposals: to establish a process and set of characteristics by which vocational qualifications could be judged for inclusion in 16-19 performance tables; to introduce two separate categories of vocational qualification – ‘applied general’ and ‘occupational’, in addition to academic qualifications; and, to only include applied general and occupational qualifications that meet pre-defined standards in future performance tables. The consultation also seeks views on whether the Government should fund learners who are over 19 to take vocational qualifications that meet the new characteristics, but do not conform to the Qualifications and Credit Framework.
Deadline 10th May 2013
Improving the code of practice for victims of crime – More details here
This open consultation sets out the Government’s plans to reform the victims’ code. It is aimed at all criminal justice agencies, victims of crime and businesses, and covers: victims’ entitlements; duties on criminal justice agencies; specific entitlements for children and young people; the Victim Personal Statement; businesses; information on restorative justice; and, means of redress (complaints process).
Deadline 10th May 2013
Moving the date of English local elections to the date of the European Parliamentary elections in 2014 – more details here
This consultation seeks views on whether or not to move the date of the local government elections from 1 May 2014, so that they take place on the same day as the European Parliamentary elections in that year, and are combined.
Deadline 13th May 2013
Consultation on legislation on indemnity insurance – more details here
This consultation seeks views on draft regulations on the requirement for all regulated healthcare professionals to hold an insurance or indemnity arrangement as a condition of their registration with the relevant regulatory body.
Deadline 17th May 2013
Administering shared parental leave and pay – more details here
The Government announced its intention to implement measures to encourage sharing parental leave and pay in November 2012, in its response to the Modern Workplaces Consultation. This consultation now sets out proposals for how shared parental leave and pay will work in practice. Alongside this consultation, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) are also consulting on a Draft Code of Practice for flexible working.
Deadline 20th May 2013
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: consultation on draft statutory guidance – more details here
This open consultation seeks views on the draft statutory guidance to be issued to the police and other law enforcement authorities on the exercise of powers to retain DNA and fingerprints, for up to two years at a time beyond the normal 3 year limit, for the purposes of national security.
Deadline 20th May 2013
The Future of Apprenticeships in England – more details here
This consultation sets out the Government’s long term vision for apprenticeships. It follows the independent review of apprenticeships, which was published in November 2012. The consultation looks to ‘place control of apprenticeships more firmly in the hands of employers’ and ‘ensure that all apprenticeships are rigorous and responsive to employers’ needs’, and it proposes ways forward for this to happen. The Government will confirm its future approach and implementation plan in autumn 2013.
Deadline 26th May 2013
Early Years Provision – more details here
This open consultation from Ofsted proposes revisions to the framework for inspection of early years providers. It is proposed to replace the ‘satisfactory’ grade with ‘requires improvement’ for inspections of nursery, pre-school and out of school settings from September 2013; childminders are not affected because of initiatives for childminders now being considered by the Government, but Ofsted will bring forward further proposals for consultation in the coming months.
Deadline 26th May 2013
Further reforms of the infrastructure levy – More details here
The Government is consulting on further regulatory reforms to the community infrastructure levy. The proposals include: changes that will ensure councils provide greater clarity on how they have set the proposed level of levy and more transparency about what developers will be charged; allowing councils to accept levy payments in kind from developers providing infrastructure instead of cash or land to ensure timely delivery of infrastructure; ensuring that where planning permission is phased, levy payments are also phased to help get development underway as soon as possible; enabling councils to make discount market sale housing exempt from levy charges; and, removing the current vacancy test so that the levy will not generally be payable on buildings that have been vacant for a certain amount of time but are being refurbished or redeveloped to bring them back into productive use.
Deadline 28th May 2013
Proposals for the further reform of the legal aid system – More details here
The Government is consulting on a number of proposals to transform the legal aid system and deliver savings. The proposals include: removing criminal legal aid in prison law cases that do not justify the use of public money; introducing a residency test so that only those with a strong connection to the UK are able to receive civil legal aid; making it harder for claimants to use civil legal aid to bring speculative cases by tightening the test so that all cases must have at least a 50% chance of success to be funded; restructuring the Crown Court advocacy fee scheme by paying the same rates to advocates irrespective of whether there is an early or a late guilty plea or a short trial; and, reducing certain legal aid fees paid in civil cases and to experts. The Government will respond to the consultation in autumn 2013.
Deadline 4th June 2013
Opening up UK payments – more details here
As part of its work to reform the banking sector, the Government is consulting on its proposals to introduce a new system of ‘competition-focused regulation’ for payment systems. The payment systems regulator will have the power to: ensure access to the payment systems is open, fair and transparent for all banks; force the payment systems and their direct members to invest to deliver new innovations; ensure that consumer views are fully taken into account in decisions about payment systems, such as cheques; and, if necessary end the ownership of payment systems by the big banks.
Deadline 25th June 2013
Taxpayer-funded pensions for councillors and other elected local office holders – more details here
This consultation seeks views on access by Councillors and other elected local office holders in England to the taxpayer-funded, Local Government Pension Scheme which will come into effect from 1 April 2014.
Deadline 5th July 2013