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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Welfare State - UK

BETTER SERVICES, BETTER WORKING LIVES: HOW HEALTH AND EDUCATION SERVICES ARE DELIVERING FOR WOMEN

Women and Equality Unit, Cabinet Office

London: 2001

Reports on women's views of the public services, based on a consultation involving more than 2000 women aged 25-45. Results showed that although almost 75% of the respondents work, public services, such as schools and hospitals, are still designed around the model of women at home with their children. Respondents suggested that new technology could be used to improve access to services. Study also called for more breakfast clubs and after-school clubs for children and for more self-rostering by nurses.

EDUCATION, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND INTER-AGENCY WORKING: JOINED-UP OR FRACTURED POLICY?

S. Riddell and L. Tett (eds.)

London: Routledge, 2001

This book explores policy and practice in education, health, social and employment services and housing and how they interact with one another. It looks at the experiences of the U.S., Australia, Scotland and the UK as a whole. It covers areas such as Education Action zones and Zones d'Éducation Prioritaires; New Community Schools; the nature of special educational partnerships; social inclusion and exclusion and the New Deal for 18 to 24 year olds.

THE GREAT UNREAD AND THE GREAT UNWELL

C. Baillieu

The Daily Telegraph, Jan 21st 2002, p.30

The author re-reads The Beveridge Report of 1942 and concludes that it still contains important lessons for reforming the Welfare State.

HUMAN TRAFFIC: SKILLS, EMPLOYERS AND INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERING

G. Thomas

London: Demos, 2001

Report recommends that the public sector should facilitate the release of staff to take up voluntary service posts abroad. At present the public sector fails to recognise the value of skills developed when people volunteer to work abroad, with staff finding it hard to re-enter the workforce or being demoted as a result of spending time as international volunteers.

MONITORING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION 2001

M. Rahman, G. Palmer and P. Kenway

York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2001

For the first time, the number of indicators which improved over the year exceeded the number which got worse. The number of people living in households below 60% of median income fell from 13.4 million in 1998/99 to 13.3 million in 1999/00. Housing continued to improve, with levels of overcrowding, lack of central heating and extent of mortgage arrears much lower than a decade ago. However the number of people living in temporary accommodation rose sharply. In the health sector, accidental deaths of children, suicides amongst young adults and under-age pregnancies fell, but other health indicators remained unchanged, with persistent inequalities between social classes. Fewer pensioners got help from social services, but the proportion without a telephone continued to fall. There were continuing improvements in education as fewer children failed to achieve basic standards.

THE THIRD WAY IS DEAD AND LABOUR CAN BE ITSELF AT LAST

P. Toynbee

Guardian, Jan 9th 2002, p.16

Argues that the Labour government is beginning to shift its ground to support higher taxation and more investment in public services. The Third Way is being discarded as it has failed to tackle deep-seated social inequalities due to its belief in equality of opportunity rather than redistribution.

THE UNIVERSAL BANK: IS THERE A HIDDEN AGENDA?

Anon

New Review of the Low Pay Unit, no. 72, Nov./Dec. 2001, p.11-13

The new introductory accounts being developed by high street banks and the proposed Universal Bank will allow people to receive benefits and gain access to their money electronically. However neither of these services will give people on low incomes access to credit, and so they may not be fully effective in combating financial exclusion.

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