‘£1bn extra’ academy roll out costs
AN extra £1 billion was spent by the Government in the last two years on turning schools into academies, the spending watchdog has said.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said the Department for Education (DfE) was “unprepared” for the financial impact of rapidly expanding the programme.
In a new report, the NAO said the department had initially failed to anticipate the scale of interest from schools who would want to take on academy status.
Draft bill on prisoner voting
PLANS for MPs to have a say on whether prisoners should be given the vote will be set out today by the Government in the latest round of its long-running battle with the European Court of Human Rights.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will lay out the options in a draft bill ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for Britain to comply with a ruling by the court in Strasbourg that the current outright ban is illegal.
It is expected that the bill will give Parliament three choices – retaining the current ban, or allowing votes for certain prisoners serving sentences of up to six months or up to four years.
Settlement rules to be relaxed
RULES barring foreign and Commonwealth troops serving in the British armed forces from settling in the UK if they incur even minor disciplinary convictions are to be relaxed.
The Home Office will announce today that personnel with only minor disciplinary records will be able to stay on in Britain after they leave the services.
The rule change is expected to come into force before Christmas so that troops facing redundancy in the new year will be covered.
Pickles warning on bin collections
COUNCILS in England which fail to restore weekly bin collections could see their funding from central government cut, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has warned.
Mr Pickles said there was “no plausible reason” why councils should not collect the bins every week.
It is reported that more than half of councils in England run some form of fortnightly collection.
Royals to visit revamped theatre
THE Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will pay a visit to Bristol today.
The monarch and Philip, who are arriving by royal train, will tour the city’s refurbished Bristol Old Vic theatre, which has undergone a multimillion-pound revamp inspired by its original 18th-century design.
They will watch rehearsals of the venue’s Christmas show Peter Pan, before meeting production staff backstage.