Unit 1 Government, policies and the public services Unit overview

BTEC Level 3 National
Public Services
Unit 1 Government, policies
and the public services
Unit overview
Credits: 10
A major part of the UK’s government process is the democratic election of representatives to all levels of
government including local, regional, national and European governments. Learners will examine the
responsibilities that each level of government has to maintain effective public services, and will also
explore the different electoral processes available, and those currently used. Learners will then investigate
the main roles of elected representatives within the different government levels, including a brief
investigation into the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and also the
European Parliament, although an in-depth knowledge of these is not required. Learners will also study
the structure of government in the UK to explore the different levels, from central government to local
councils. This will lead to knowledge of specific responsibilities of government departments and other
organisations involved in the government structure, including their relationship to the public services. The
unit will explain how government policies are developed, give an understanding of the legislative process
and the effects that government policies can have upon the public services, the personnel working within
them and the provision of services.
PLTS and functional skills are both incorporated into the unit and linked with assessment activities
providing learners with the opportunity to generate evidence for additional qualifications.
On completion of this unit, learners should:
know the different levels of government in the UK
understand the democratic election process for each level of government in the UK
understand the impact of UK government policies on the public services
be able to demonstrate how government policies are developed.
Unit contents
The scheme of work links to the following resources to help you deliver Unit 1.
Lesson plan
Activity sheet
Stretch and support
AS1, AS2, AS3
AS4, AS5
AS6, AS7
AS8, AS9, AS10
All of these resources can be found on the accompanying CD-ROM, as well as an editable version of the
scheme of work, and answers to questions in the Student Book.
Links to other units
Unit 1 links to other units in this public services qualification as shown below and provides lots of
opportunities to cross-reference and combine assignment work for these units.
BTEC Level 3 National Public Services units
Unit 3 Citizenship, diversity and the public services
Unit 7 International institutions and human rights
© Pearson Education Ltd 2010. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
Unit 1 Government, policies and the
public services
BTEC Level 3 National Public Services
How to deliver the unit
This unit should be made as practical as possible and should encourage learners to explore their own
views and opinions through discussion and research opportunities. The unit should be very learner
centred and learners should be encouraged to find information independently or in small groups so that
they can begin to gain the independence and research skills that are necessary if they are going to
succeed on a level 3 course.
You should make extensive use of visiting speakers from the public services, or from government
organisations, and local MPs. The local police service or the local careers officers for the armed services
may be willing to come in to your centre and discuss the impact that government policies have on their
service; your local MP could be your first point of contact when speaking to the learners.
You could also consider a visit to the Houses of Parliament in London, or any of the regional assemblies.
This will have to be in negotiation with your local MP, but the visit will have an impact on the learners and
will most certainly apply practice to theory. You could also arrange visits to see local councils at work, or
organise visits from local councillors.
The activity sheets will support your delivery and can be adapted to suit individuals, pairs and small
groups. The scheme of work also includes suggestions for delivery.
Further sources of help to learners include accessing newspapers for news websites online, such as BBC
news, to ensure they keep up to date on current issues in communities, public services and politics, which
should provide lots of opportunities for discussion and debate.
Useful resources
There are many different sources of help and resources that are available online. Some of the websites
that may support learning for this area are listed below. It may also be possible to use websites in class
that will bring up-to-date community and cultural issues into the classroom, such as BBC News or
10 Downing Street www.number10.gov.uk
Direct Gov – public services all in one place www.direct.gov.uk
HM Treasury www.hm-treasury.gov.uk
Information for local government from central government www.info4local.gov.uk
Information on policies and standards for e-government www.govtalk.gov.uk
Tagish – independent software development and consultancy firm (provides links to central and local
government websites) www.tagish.co.uk/links
The Home Office www.homeoffice.gov.uk
UK Parliament www.publications.parliament.uk
Axford, B. et al. Politics: An Introduction, 2nd edition (Routledge, 1997)
Peele, G. Governing the UK, 4th edition (Blackwell Publishers, 2004)
Articles from journals and magazines
The Spectator
Police Review
The Week
Prison News
The Economist
© Pearson Education Ltd 2010. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.