The Week, 29 January 2016

29 January 2016

The Home Office’s decision to bring together emergency services has the potential to deliver better quality and more efficient frontline services, making it one of the most exciting reforms in public services today.

Eleonora Harwich, Researcher

Reformer of the week

The Home Office, which on Tuesday announced new measures to enable emergency services to work more closely together.

Reactionary of the week

The British Medical Association, which this week ignored evidence to the contrary to argue against patient choice.

Good week for…


On Monday, the Department for Education announced that new legislation would require all schools to inform their students about apprenticeships and allow apprenticeship providers and technical colleges to visit schools as part of careers advice.

Prison education

On Tuesday, the Times reported that prisoners participating in the Inside-Out programme and studying criminology scored higher than some university students in a criminology exam.

Cyber security

Also on Tuesday, the Government launched a new programme to support cyber-security startups in order to develop technical solutions to keep the UK at the forefront of countering cyber attacks.

Bad Week for …

The Northern Powerhouse

On Monday, the Financial Times reported that half of Britain’s largest cities and towns are affected by low pay and welfare dependency. Most of these are in the North.

Mental health

On Tuesday, it was reported that deaths and suicides related to mental health patients had risen by 22 per cent in the past three years.

Labour market and skills

On Thursday, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills announced the results of new research showing that since 2011 the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the adequate skills has risen by 130 per cent.

Quote of the week

“I am all too aware that a government cannot drive up school standards alone. What government can do is set the conditions in which schools are able to improve themselves. That is why heads are so central to our vision of a school-led system…we need school leadership to show strength in depth in all parts of the country.”

Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, speaking on Tuesday

Reform‘s week

On Saturday, Charlotte Pickles, Senior Research Director at Reform, appeared on the Today Programme (clip begins 20:50) and BBC Breakfast, arguing that the welfare system requires fundamental reform to help more disabled people into work.

The Reformer blog

On Monday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, wrote a blog arguing against the idea that public-service cuts have been “unsustainable”.

On Wednesday, Charlotte Pickles wrote a blog arguing that reform to disability benefits is required to narrow the employment gap.



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