Academy chains in a tangle

, 30 July 2015

Last week, the Sutton Trust, a charity focused on improving social mobility through education, released a report on the performance of academy chains operating across England and Wales. Many academies are standalone schools but over a third of the UK’s 4,000-plus academies are now run by chains overseeing three or more academy schools. The...

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Shrinking Whitehall

, 28 July 2015

The news that government is considering restructuring as one solution to the current spending squeeze is not surprising. Mergers are often sought as a solution to crises in both the public and private sector, and secretaries of state will have to consider all options if they are to respond to George Osborne’s recent request...

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Behavioural economics: an insight into the future of policy making?

, 28 July 2015

“Behavioural economists look for ‘quirky’ behavioural patterns – it is only in the eyes of economists that these are misbehaviours.” Richard Thaler began with a number of anecdotes from his time as a graduate economics student. He and others began to observe several quirky behaviours exhibited by those around him, including the economics professor...

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Eight ways to improve the Work Programme

, 21 July 2015

In 2010, the Coalition Government launched its Work Programme, which promised to get the long-term unemployed back to work. It was announced as “a revolution in back-to-work support” but built on two decades of experience in commissioning similar services. A number of previous employment services were consolidated into one national programme, outsourced by the...

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What’s needed to make public services more responsive to local, citizen needs?

, 21 July 2015

Everyone knows that public services are going to be hit hard over the next few years, with further budget cuts, an ageing population and rising demand. Changing demographics alone equates to around £400 million of extra spending needed per year. But we also know that these challenges will be more easily met by joining...

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Major Projects Authority Annual Report, 2015: the departmental picture

, 20 July 2015

The Department of Health now has the most projects, closely followed by the Ministry of Defence. Major projects are not spread equally across Whitehall departments. Between them, DH and the MoD are responsible for 40% of the entire MPA portfolio. DH’s portfolio has been swelled by 14 new projects to 41 this year, overtaking...

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