Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
A new report, published by the Institute for Government, has stressed how weak accountability increases the risk of failure of public services, with the same patterns of failure repeatedly occurring.
Accountability in Modern Government: What are the Issues? contends that the UK’s system of accountability ‘isn’t keeping up with the realities of modern government’, creating repeated failures and contention over who should be held to account when issues arise. Tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire highlight this in the strongest way.
With ministers and civil servants often blaming each other with things go wrong, projects, such as the roll-out of Universal Credit, are lacking in the opportunity to learn from mistakes avoid them again. However, if and when failures are clearly attributable to ministers, many are not held to account for their decisions.
Furthermore, poor contract management often results in wider public services failures, from the millions of pounds lost in the overbilling for prisoner electronic tagging to the problems with benefit assessments.
Similarly, the IfG says there is a tendency to overemphasise blame when something goes wrong and obscure the facts rather than hold frank conversations about what would be needed to improve the situation.
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s leading annual showcase of the blue light sector, featuring over 450 exhibitors, live demonstrations, unique learning opportunities and unrivalled networking.