Press coverage

Find coverage in the press of Reform's latest work below. 

We are always happy to comment on policy issues relevant to our work. If you would like a quote, an interview, or a background briefing, please email press@reform.uk or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

Filter By

Reform Media Statement: Oxford University Outreach

On Tuesday 21 May, Oxford University announced a new outreach programme, aimed at improving access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Dr. Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform and author of 'Gaining Access', said:

"Oxford University already spends over £4.5 million a year on improving access, considerably more than other top Universities. This begs the question: why is their record so bad? Offering 50 new foundation places by 2023 is welcome, but it’s a drop in the ocean when 40% of Oxford students are from a private school, compared to 7% in the country. Disadvantaged students who get high enough grades to attend a top University are less likely to apply to one. Oxford’s efforts may be better spent targeting them.”

This statement was covered by BBC News, Schools Week and FE News.

Public Finance, 17 May 2019

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher at Reform, wrote an op-ed for Public Finance, arguing that local authorities should be granted more secure funding streams in order to develop effective homelessness prevention strategies.

'"To allow local authorities to shift their focus to prevention, they need the security to plan for the future. However, Reform heard that short funding cycles do not allow this to happen."

Read the full piece here.

Reform media statement: Renationalising probation not a silver bullet

Commenting on the renationalisation of Government probation services, Reform researcher Dr Joshua Pritchard said:

"Probation is in crisis, but renationalisation isn't some magic wand you can wave to solve it. The issue isn’t who delivers probation, but that the current design of the service isn’t fit for purpose. The contracting was rushed, which has led to the problems we now see - another knee-jerk decision won’t help.”

In 2019, Reform published a report on outsourcing arguing that the process should be improved but should not banned as was called for at the time. 

This statement was covered in Public Finance

Financial Times, 16 May 2019

Dr. Joshua Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, was quoted in a Financial Times story on the decision to renationalise the probation service. He said:

"It's not going to solve anything if people are overworked and underpaid," and called on the government to devise a "whole new model" for the service.

Read the full piece here (£).

Edge Health, 13 May 2019

Edge Health wrote a write-up for their event, 'Taking the pAIn out of AI', which featured contributions from Reform Director of Research Eleonora Harwich.

You can read it here.

TalkRadio, 16 May 2019

Dr. Joshua Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, appeared on talkRADIO to speak with Mike Graham about the decision to renationalise the probation service.

He spoke about how failures in the outsourcing process, including poorly designed contracts, led to poor service provision. He also emphasised the fact that the probation service has struggled with core issues such as under-staffing and reoffending for years, and that renationalisation alone cannot fix these. He concluded by saying that renationalisation represents an important opportunity to reform the probation service, and that the MoJ must use this opportunity to develop a system that effectively meets the needs of offenders.

You can listen back to the interview here.

BBC Radio London, 14 May 2019

Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, appeared on BBC Radio London to discuss findings of Reform's latest report on preventing youth homelessness.

He spoke about variation across England in terms of how homelessness is tackled, which creates a postcode lottery. This is because the issue has often been left to be dealt with at a local, rather than national, level. The warning signs for those at risk of homelessness can be predictable, and include factors like domestic issues, truancy and mental health problems, which are dealt with by a range of different services. Therefore, it is important for better joint working between councils and these other services to combat the issue of homelessness. 

Listen to Luke's interview here (found from 2:53: 40).

Care Talk, 30 April 2019

Dr Joshua Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for Care Talk, addressing the importance of ensuring sufficient support for personal budget holders.

"There is an urgent need to understand how to make personal budgets work for everyone - not just recipients of personal budgets, but the staff and providers tasked with supporting them."

Read the full piece here.