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 or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

Filter By

TalkRadio, 18 June 2019

On 18 June 2019, Reform Director Charlotte Pickles appeared on TalkRadio to speak with Mike Graham about the complex and changing face of disadvantage in the UK, following a speech for Reform on the same topic by Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education.

She addressed the lag in educational outcomes for white, working-class children in Britain, linking this phenomenon to the educational difficulties experienced in the rural and coastal areas where the white working-class population tends to be concentrated. She also emphasised that the issue goes far beyond a lack of good schools, pointing out that even in areas with a high concentration of 'outstanding' schools, other factors (such as lack of cultural exposure and poor home life) can negatively influence outcomes.

You can listen back to the full interview here.

Reform Media Statement: Knife Crime Statistics

On 13 June 2019, the Ministry of Justice released statistics showing that knife crime has reached a nine-year high. Commenting on the figures, Reform Director Charlotte Pickles said:


“The tragic rise in knife crime requires urgent action. But, as these figures show, tougher sentences are not the answer. Politicians focusing on law enforcement are mistaken; you cannot arrest your way out of this. Instead of pledging thousands more police offices, if candidates vying to become Prime Minster really want to stem this violence they must also focus on the root causes - poverty, school exclusion, poor mental health and drugs."


This was covered on the BBCThe Times and Police Professional among other publications. 

Politics Live, 4 June 2019

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, appeared on Politics Live to discuss the latest policy news including Trump's state visit to the UK and dealing with the past in Northern Ireland.  

Time Education Supplement, 4 June 2019

Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote a piece for the Times Education Supplement, on the different education spending pledges being made by Conservative leadership candidates. 

"In the latest instalment of the "I can outspend you" campaigning, Boris Johnson,Michael Gove and Matt Hancock have pledged to stump up more cash for schools." 

Read the full piece here

Reform Media Statement: Augar Review

On Thursday 30 May, The Augar Review into post-18 education published its findings; among its recommendations was a call for tuition fees to be capped at £7500. Dr. Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, said: 

"Slashing tuition fees is a red herring and the taxpayer will ultimately pay the cost. It will not result in better quality courses, improved access for disadvantaged students or stop students leaving university with large levels of debt. Universities need to stop pushing poor-quality courses and start delivering value for the money students pay.”

This statement was covered in FE News.

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.