March 2014

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Reserves held by schools in Wales at 31 March 2014

Reserves held by schools in Wales at 31 March 2014

Table 3 shows the number of schools in Wales with reserves as a percentage of delegated schools expenditure at the end of 2013-14 broken down by school sector. The table groups schools according to whether the level of reserves is negative (i.e. a deficit), under 5%, between 5% and 10%, or over 10% of their delegated school expenditure. 152 primary and 61 secondary schools had negative reserves at the end of March 2014. A further 171 primary and 4 secondary schools had reserves of over 10% of their expenditure.

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Vocational and other qualifications quarterly: January – March 2014

Vocational and other qualifications quarterly: January – March 2014

During the January – March 2014 quarter, the number of available qualifications decreased to 20,259, 3 per cent less than the previous quarter (20,906). The number of available qualifications decreased for all types of qualifications except on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) (an increase of 324 qualifications) and for English speakers of other languages (ESOL) (an increase of two qualifications). This quarter, approximately 1.5 million vocational qualifications were awarded. This is an increase of 3 per cent compared with the same quarter of 2013. The number of certificates issued in the 12-month period to March 2014, compared with 2013, continues to increase.

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Childcare providers and places, England, 31 March 2014 – 31 August 2014: final

Childcare providers and places, England, 31 March 2014 – 31 August 2014: final

 A total of 90,972 childcare providers were registered with Ofsted at 31 August 2014. This includes providers on the Early Years Register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register. This is a net decrease of 1,279 (one per cent) of all registered providers since 31 March 2014. The number of providers of childcare on domestic and non-domestic premises has remained reasonably stable but the number of childminders and home childcarers has fallen.

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Outlook and appraisal [March 2014]

Outlook and appraisal [March 2014]

In Scotland, we will not have 2013 fourth quarter GDP data until mid-April 2014. In the third quarter, we noted above that real GDP rose by 0.7% in Scotland, while rising by 0.8% in the UK. The Scottish economy has now been growing for the previous 6 quarters and the indications are that the growth rate will continue to rise in the near term. The latest business surveys - see Review of Scottish Business Surveys below - generally have a positive outlook in the short term. Many of the surveys showed that trends in key indicators are stronger than a year ago and net balance figures are returning to pre- recession levels of late 2007. Previous surveys have indicated a stagnating economy but these latest results indicate a return to pre-recession levels. The sense is that the pace of the recovery in the Scottish economy is accelerating and becoming broader based than previously. However, for some sectors, such as manufacturing and construction trading conditions are still harsh suggesting that the recovery remains fragile and policy action may be required to ensure that it is sustainable.

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Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2014

Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2014

return along with the SSDA903 return. The CLA100 was an aggregate return completed for all children looked after at 31 March while the SSDA903 was a one-in- three sample survey. From year ending 31 March 2004, the SSDA903 covered all children looked after and so the CLA100 was not required. Between 1997-98 and 2002- 03, the AD1 return was completed for all children looked after who were adopted during the year; the OC1 return collected data on the qualifications achieved at the point of leaving care for young people leaving care in the year aged 16 and over; and the OC3 return collected data on the activity and accommodation of former care leavers. From year ending 31 March 2004, these returns were collected as part of the SSDA903 data collection.

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Think Tank Review Issue 11, March 2014

Think Tank Review Issue 11, March 2014

The new EU budget for the period 2014-20 will, for the first time in history, be reduced in size, following the trend in national finances. The agreement on the MFF 2014-2020 can only be considered as a development and an improvement, but not really a revolution. This follows a long-term trend of moving away from the more traditional spending areas towards a focus on horizontal issues linked to competitiveness and innovation The EP has been an important actor during the entire negotiation process. During the years to come we will see an in-depth debate on the EU's future own resources as well as a revision of the MFF in 2016; in both debates, the EP will have a stronger say than in the past.

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Higher level qualifications quarterly: January – March 2014

Higher level qualifications quarterly: January – March 2014

requirements for further education teachers were removed from September 2013. 3 Before this change, these qualifications were required by those who wanted to teach in further education colleges and adult and community settings, and they were the minimum requirement for gaining qualified teacher status in the lifelong learning sector, which had led to an increase in the number of certificates issued. Examining all certificates awarded for these qualifications at Level 4, we saw a 23 per cent decline this quarter compared with January – March 2013. Seven of the 50 qualifications with the highest number of certificates issued were in preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector (see table 3 of the appendix).

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Review of Scottish business surveys [March 2014]

Review of Scottish business surveys [March 2014]

Unexpectedly, the trend in total new SCBS orders/contracts improved and the net balance was the highest recorded level since 2007. Orders generally improved, although concerns remain over public sector orders. More than half of firms reported an increase in private commercial orders and a net of respondents expect a further rise in Q1 2014. Capacity utilisation improved marginally from 80.8% to 82.3%, higher than previous fourth quarters. During the final three months of 2013 orders from all areas, save from the public sector are forecast to rise.

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Forecasts of the Scottish economy [March 2014]

Forecasts of the Scottish economy [March 2014]

This section provides an overview of recent changes in the drivers of economic activity in Scotland and provides the detailed forecasts for the Scottish economy to 2015 on key economic variables of GDP, employment and unemployment. In line with improving economic data and surveys of activity at the start of 2014, we are cautiously encouraged by the short term outlook for growth to 2015. As previously, we caution about the unbalanced nature of economic growth based upon consumption spending growth – when income growth is weak and part of the consumption growth comes as households reduce their savings rather than paying down debt levels. This has implications for the “balance”, robustness and speed of recovery in the Scottish economy .

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Monthly Weather Bulletin March 2014

Monthly Weather Bulletin March 2014

The number of wet days (days with 1 mm or more rainfall) were lowest at Newtownmountkennedy (Forest Lab), Co Wicklow and Kinsalebeg (Ferrypoint), Co Waterford with 10 days while the highest number of March wet days was 24 reported at numerous stations in Donegal and at isolated stations in Leitrim, Cork and Sligo. Dungarvan (Castlefield), Co. Kilkenny reported 16 wet days, its highest amount of March wet days since 1993, while most other stations across the country reported their highest number of wet days in five to 19 years.

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Demand Seasonality Analysis of High Valued-Added Items: a Kruskal-Wallis Test Application in an Oil and Gas Multinational Company

Demand Seasonality Analysis of High Valued-Added Items: a Kruskal-Wallis Test Application in an Oil and Gas Multinational Company

However, given the impossibility of analyzing all inventory items, approximately 7,000 SKUs (stock keeping unit), it came to the conclusion that the best way to achieve considerable results with the greatest possible relevance would be using ABC stock classification,’ and using only the classification of materials "A". But this could not be used purely and simply as a parameter for obtaining the items, because it would not be effective to forecast a SKU that has a cost of R$ 100,000.00, but is used once every two years, so it was needed to also use an inventory turnover analysis provided by the company. For this analysis it was considered the period from March 2014 to March 2016 (two years) as well as predictive analysis.

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Graphite and hybrid nanomaterials as lubricant additives

Graphite and hybrid nanomaterials as lubricant additives

Another major challenge of using graphite as a lubricant is to maintain a continuous supply of graphite between two sliding surfaces, which can be achieved much easier in the case of fluid lubricants. An innovative design is incorporating graphite into the matrix of one of the sliding components to form composite. Considerable work has been done on the development of metal matrix-graphite particle composites which exhibit low friction, low wear rate, and excellent anti-seizing properties. It was found that hybrid composites of copper and graphite particulate possess properties of copper such as excellent thermal and electrical conductivities, as well properties of graphite, i.e., solid lubricating and small thermal expansion coefficient [55]. Liu and colleagues evaluated the tribological performance of particle composites of aluminium alloy 2014-graphite as a function of the volume fraction of graphite particles [56], reporting that wear resistance can be improved with the addition of graphite, which results in a reduced coefficient of friction (Figure 1). A systematic review of the tribological behaviour of metal matrix composites containing graphite particles system was conducted by Rohatgi and colleagues, in which they surveyed a range of metals including copper, aluminium alloy, and magnesium alloy [57]. The review highlighted that friction and wear rate in those composites are substantially reduced compared with those in matrix alloys, as a result of the incorporation of graphite particles.

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Philosophy for children : evaluation report and executive summary

Philosophy for children : evaluation report and executive summary

A more recent longitudinal study of the long-term impact of P4C was conducted in Madrid (Colom et al. 2014). This was intended to track children attending two private schools over 20 years. A total of 455 children aged 6 (first year of primary school) to 18 (final year of high school) from one school were trained in the P4C programme. Another 321 pupils from another school matched on demographic characteristics formed the control group. Data on children’s cognitive, non-cognitive, and academic achievements were collected at three time points, at ages 8, 11/12, and 16. Preliminary analyses of 281 treatment children and 146 control children showed that the programme had positive impacts on general cognitive ability (ES = 0.44), but results on academic achievement were not yet available. The authors implied that the programme was particularly beneficial for lower-ability pupils, but this was not clear from their presentation of the analysis. Moreover, although the study was large scale and long term, pupils were not randomised in terms of receiving P4C instruction, and the study may not be generalisable as participants came from relatively prosperous families. In short, the results from this preliminary analysis should be treated with a high degree of caution.

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