Research and Education

The latest from our Summer of Student Innovation design sprint

12 August 2016

This year's four-day-long design sprint from the Summer of Student Innovation was a huge success. We hear from winners past and present at the design sprint, and Justin Haylock tells us about this year's winning ideas, and what the teams have been up to at the event (including playing with Lego).

Scotland's Children's Panels launch recruitment drive

A drive is launched to sign up 500 volunteers as members of Scotland's Children's Panels.

Birds and bees

Sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools is often criticised - so we've asked a teacher to watch old videos and explain how it's changed over the last 50 years.

Firms offered £2,000 incentive to take on apprentices

Employers are offered an extra £2,000 to take on teenagers, care leavers and those with special education needs as apprentices in England.

Degree or drop out?

Students in university are more likely to start their own business while still in school - but what happens when these dorm-room firms have to grow up?

Youth services heading towards collapse, says union

A study revealing hundreds of youth centres have closed and youth worker jobs axed says services in the UK are heading towards collapse.

Special needs pupils lack crucial support, poll suggests

Too many pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England lack crucial support, a poll of education staff suggests.

More than a third of female students 'have mental health problems'

One in three female students in the UK has a mental health problem, a survey suggests.

Sturgeon launches school reading challenge

Nicola Sturgeon challenges pupils across Scotland to read from a list of up to 100 books as part of a drive to improve literacy.

Body image 'a problem for boys', says advertising think tank

Eating disorders, dieting and extreme exercising are as much of a problem for secondary school boys as for girls, suggests a survey.

Funding and Consultations

Closed consultation: Business impact target, growth duty and Small Business Appeals Champion

Updated: Added link to categories of regulatory provisions to be excluded from the BIT.

We’re seeking your views on which regulators to bring within scope of the business impact target (BIT), growth duty and Small Business Appeals Champion. We’re also asking for feedback on draft statutory guidance to support the implementation of the growth duty and the Small Business Appeals Champion.

This consultation is relevant to regulators and businesses and members of civil society subject to regulation.

On 3 March 2016 the Secretary of State published his list of categories of regulatory provisions which will be excluded from the BIT. All other regulatory provisions coming into force or ending during this Parliament will be treated as qualifying regulatory provisions and will count against the target.

Closed consultation: Improving terms and conditions

In this call for evidence we are seeking a better understanding of how T&Cs can be made more accessible for consumers. It includes a number of proposals along with more general questions on how respondents approach T&Cs and what might work better for them.

We are also proposing additional enforcement tools, including civil fining powers for breaches of the consumer protection legislation.

Views are sought from the public, consumer representatives, businesses, trade bodies and regulators.

Closed consultation: Damages for breaches of competition law: implementing the EU directive

The Damages Directive is designed to make it easier for businesses and individuals to claim for compensation when they have been victims of a breach of European competition law.

This document sets out the changes we believe we need to make to UK law in order to implement the directive.

Closed consultation: Research Excellence Framework review: call for evidence

Government has asked Lord Nicholas Stern to lead an independent review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The review is examining how university research funding can be allocated more efficiently so that universities can focus on carrying out world-leading research.

The review has already received many helpful inputs through the community’s response to the Higher Education green paper consultation questions on the REF. This call for evidence is to explore some of the issues raised and investigate ways in which a simpler, lighter-touch, system for the REF might be developed.

See the terms of reference.

Closed consultation: Closed recruitment practices in the public sector

The government wants to open up public sector recruitment, to ensure that the best people can be hired for the job.

This call for evidence is to gather information on the use of internal-only recruitment in the public sector, including whether it is ever ineffectively or inappropriately used. We are also seeking views on the role for government in encouraging more open recruitment.

Closed consultation: Business broadband review: call for evidence

We want to hear from businesses about the barriers they are facing in accessing superfast broadband.

We encourage responses from businesses, communications providers and other interested parties.

Open consultation: Developing black and minority ethnic talent: issues faced by businesses - McGregor-Smith review

In February, the Business Secretary asked Baroness McGregor-Smith to undertake a review of the issues faced by businesses in developing black and minority ethnic talent from recruitment through to executive level.

In order to inform that review, Baroness McGregor-Smith has launched a call for evidence and welcomes your views on:

  • the need for change
  • identifying obstacles
  • assessing the impacts of obstacles
  • existing data
  • best practice
  • recommendations

Closed consultation: National Innovation Plan: call for ideas

Updated: Deadline for responses extended to 30 May 2016.

Innovation can transform lives. It can help us to face some of our biggest challenges, from energy supply and food security, to demographic change and the delivery of public services. It enables businesses to develop new ideas, products and services, and create new jobs and export opportunities.

We want to know how you think the UK can improve its innovation framework. The survey asks for views on 7 areas:

  • regulation
  • procurement
  • access to finance
  • data
  • challenger businesses
  • national infrastructure
  • intellectual property

Your ideas will help us to develop a National Innovation Plan which we will publish later this year.

Closed consultation: Tips, gratuities, cover and service charges: proposals for further action

We believe that all discretionary payments for service should be subject to 3 broad policy objectives:

  • clear to consumers that they are voluntary
  • received by workers
  • clear and transparent to consumers and workers in terms of how the payments are treated

The consultation document includes:

We’re seeking views on our proposals for further action.

Closed consultation: Property ownership and public contracting by foreign companies: improving transparency

Updated: Consultation closing date extended to 4 April 2016.

This discussion paper sets out proposals to improve the transparency of ownership of foreign companies that purchase property or participate in public contracting.

The proposals are designed to help prevent the UK from being a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world.

The consultation closing date has been extended to Monday 4 April 2016.