Carbon collection, housing and phonics 

Interesting reports in the papers this week about renewable energy, housing associations and the success of phonics education in London…..

Firm abandons carbon captureThe firm that runs Britain’s largest power station is to abandon plans for a £1bn carbon capture-and-storage scheme. Drax says “critical reversals” on renewable energy by the Government have made “a severe impact” on its profitability. Board member Peter Emery added: “We’ve also got concerns about the Government’s future support for the low carbon agenda and that’s left us in a position where we are no longer confident we can persuade our shareholders that this is an attractive investment, given the obvious risks.” Financial Times, Page: 1 The Independent, Page: 57

The Guardian’s Jane Dudman looks at the annual conference of the National Housing Federation and ponders how much longer many housing associations can survive as they face shrinking government subsidies and welfare cuts. A reduction of the benefit cap from £26,000 to £20,000 has increased the financial risk of providing homes for families on welfare, according to Dudman. Notting Hill Housing chief executive Kate Davies claims that many of her staff will fail to adapt to a more commercial approach as many council house tenants opt to purchase their homes.  The Guardian  

London boroughs lead phonics passes

New figures show that nine of the 10 local authorities in which the most six-year-olds passed the government’s phonics reading test this year are in London. The top performing local authority was Richmond-upon-Thames, where 86.5% of six-year-olds made the grade, followed by the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Newham, Greenwich, Harrow, Bromley and Bexley. Darlington was the only non-London borough in the top 10, on 82.3%. By contrast, BBC News notes that only 69.5% of six-year-olds met the standard in Nottingham, the worst performing council, followed by Peterborough, Wakefield, Doncaster, Derby, Liverpool, Bury, Oldham, Middlesbrough and Tameside. Across England, 490,000 (77%) pupils met the required standard, up 120,000 on 2012, when the tests began. BBC News
This blog is for UNICEF.

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