LP's blog

Policy Announcements, Friday 06 July


  • The government has announced an extra £13.7m to help schools improve the behaviour of pupils. Children, schools and families secretary Ed Balls unveiled the funds, which will be delivered through the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) programme over four years. The scheme, which is implemented in 60 per cent of primary schools, teaches pupils how to resolve conflict to help them develop socially and emotionally and deal with anger and anxiety. It encourages children to compete fairly and work cooperatively in order to boost employability skills, focusing on self-understanding, motivation and empathy.
  • Government launches new plan to help parents by text messages and social networks. Parents will be able to receive text and instant messages to help them with their children, thanks to a £34m new initiative launched today by Children's and Families Minister Kevin Brennan. Using phone helplines and the internet, 'Parent Know-How' will signpost parents to information and support services. It will be targeted at people who may struggle to find the help they need - such as the parents of disabled children, fathers and those from disadvantaged communities.
  • The union flag is flying over Downing Street after Gordon Brown scrapped a rule saying it could be flown only on certain days of the year. The prime minister said it will now be up to individual public offices when they fly Britain's national flag. He said: "When I came into government I realised that you could only fly the flag on 18 days in the year and I thought that was wrong."

Policy Announcements, Wednesday 04 July


  • Health secretary Alan Johnson has put NHS restructuring on hold "for the foreseeable future" to create stability and focus on improving care. In a statement to the Commons, he set out the government's new approach to the health service which will put a break on continuous structural reform. Johnson said that substantial improvements to the health service had taken place in the last 10 years due to increased funding, but he acknowledged that there were still problems and challenges.

Policy Announcements, Friday 22 June


  • Gordon Brown has said he has learned his lesson about "top-down" government and has pledged to involve ordinary people in his decisions. He told BBC News the public needed to be fully involved if big challenges like climate change were to be tackled. He also agreed that tax as a percentage of national income had risen under Labour, but said people supported the decision to increase NHS funding. The Tories have accused Mr Brown of being addicted to "state control".