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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 24 September 2007

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1 stop shop for Every Child Matters

LEADERS from the country's 23,000 schools and their partners will soon have access to a ground breaking one stop shop for Every Child Matters (ECM).  The National College for School Leadership (NCSL) is launching a free online resource called ECM Leadership Direct - the first of its kind bringing together existing knowledge and best practice to help ensure every child is able to thrive and achieve their potential.

ECM is a national Government policy initiative to provide more joined up children's services and to ensure every child has the best possible start in life. It challenges schools to remove barriers to learning and achievement, by working collaboratively with the community and other agency partners.  The need for an innovative web-based resource to help leaders meet the challenges of ECM was reinforced by the Price Waterhouse Cooper independent study into school leadership published earlier this year.

The launch of ECM Leadership Direct in Nottingham is part of NCSL's fundamental aim to develop effective leaders and help them get to grips with ECM and the delivery of extended services enabling them to further improve standards for many children and young people.  Content drawn from practice and NCSL development work over the past three years has been migrated onto ECM Leadership Direct which has unrestricted access via the web. Users visiting the site will be introduced to an authoritative bank of knowledge, case studies, tools, stimulating think pieces and publications that can be taken away and used locally.

The design of ECM Leadership Direct also breaks new ground as it is based on "mind mapping" in recognition that leaders operate in different contexts and are at different stages of development. It reflects the organic and local nature of ECM delivery and allows leaders to take what they want, when they want it, and to explore and navigate their way through themes and contexts.

Maggie Farrar, NCSL's Operational Director, ECM and Standards, said:- "ECM Leadership Direct is the first leadership resource of its kind and has been developed with the help of leaders from schools, children's centres, the community and agencies. With a large volume of resources in one place, we hope it will save people time and become the first port of call for anyone who wants to explore the issues and practicalities of leading the ECM, standards and extended schools agenda.  This is a very powerful resource that I think will stimulate, motivate and support leaders at different stages of development and with different needs."

The site is currently home to 41 publications, 46 think pieces from experts in their field, 33 tools and activities, surveys and questionnaires, and 32 case studies. However it is expected that the resource will grow and evolve, with new content every month and leaders able to share their own experiences, as the ECM agenda unfolds.  ECM Leadership Direct is relevant for all leaders from the country's 23,000 schools, ranging from serving or aspiring headteachers to teachers and other staff working in multi agency settings, statutory agencies or children's centres and community settings.

Kenny Frederick, headteacher of George Green's School in Tower Hamlets, said:- "This resource is going to help school leaders like myself as it is quick and easy to use and you don't have to go to lots of difference places for information. School leaders don't have a lot of time and being able to identify good practice and ideas all in one place should make a real difference."

To access ECM Leadership Direct after the launch on 19 September go their website.

UNISON AND INITIAL HOSPITAL SERVICES REACH PAY AND CONDITIONS AGREEMENT

UNISON is delighted to have reached agreement with Initial Hospital Services on new Rates of Pay and Conditions of Service for staff including Cleaners, Laundry and Catering workers, employed by Initial within the Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust.

The agreement is based on the Agenda for Change package which operates within the NHS. It means for the first time in many years staff employed by Initial will be on the same pay and conditions of service as those staff directly employed by the NHS.

The main features of the agreement are:-

Basic pay will rise to £6.03 back dated to 1 October 2006. It is hoped that this will be paid as soon as possible.

Annual Pay Increase will be from 1 April each year. (this brings forward the pay settlement date by three months) so members will get their pay increase earlier. This years’ pay rise will be backdated to 1 April 2007.

Recognition of previous service for the purposes of the full Agenda for Change entitlement for holidays, backdated to 1 October 2006.

Overtime, week end, nights and unsocial hours payments in line with the full Agenda for Change package, backdated to 1 October 2006.

8 Bank Holidays per year. If staff work on these days, double time PLUS time off in lieu.

Full Agenda for Change sick pay entitlement, backdated to 1 April 2007.

The introduction of annual increment increases in pay to the top of the pay bands – These increases are IN ADDITION TO the April pay increase.  The agreement follows extensive negotiations between UNISON and Initial lasting 2 years.

Peter Ballard Branch Secretary of Sefton Health UNISON said:- "This agreement ends the spectre of the two tier workforce and recognises the valuable contribution that Health Workers such as cleaners, laundry workers and catering staff make to delivering high quality services to patients."

Vera Kearny UNISON Shop Steward said:- "After a long campaign by UNISON our members will no longer be treated like 2nd class citizens and will enjoy the same pay and conditions as other NHS Staff.

We feel this is a great victory for all UNISON members employed by private contractors.

This victory was hard fought for, but UNISON members stood firm and are delighted with the outcome"

Frank Hont, UNISON North West Regional Secretary said:- “This is a tremendous result for UNISON members and others in Aintree Hospitals.

Thanks to the solidarity and determination shown by trade union members their contribution will be recognised.

We hear a lot about nurses and doctors in the NHS but patient care is a team effort and these staff play a vital part in providing quality care to patients.“

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