Reform's research and commentary is regularly featured in the media. You can find press coverage of Reform's work here.

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


the Guardian

Reform Media Statement: Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Commission Report

On Monday 24 June, The Sutton Trust published a report in partnership with the Social Mobility Commission, addressing the dominance of privately-educated individuals in top professions. Dr. Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, said:

“These scandalous figures show that the UK is far from being a meritocracy. Fixing this will require serious reform to the education system as, despite improvements, the most advantaged are nearly 10 times more likely to attend elite universities than the most disadvantaged. If candidates vying to become Prime Minster are serious about giving equal opportunity to all, they must focus on raising the attainment of disadvantaged school pupils so they can apply to elite universities. Top universities must also embrace contextualised admissions and offer more support to students to help them to succeed.”

This statement was covered by The Guardian, The SunHuffington Post, ITV and Indy 100.

The Big Issue

Reform Media Statement: London Rough Sleeping Statistics

On 19 June 2019, new data from St. Mungo's Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain) showed an all-time high in rough sleeping in London. Commenting on the new data, Dr. Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform and co-author of 'Preventing Youth Homelessness', said:

“The Government’s flagship homelessness legislation is failing the most vulnerable in society. Rather than waiting until people are on the streets, a preventative approach is needed. This will require a multi-agency response and long-term funding to support London boroughs facing increasing pressures."

This statement was covered by The Big Issue.

Talkradio logo

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 Logo

Press Coverage: Major Speech by Damian Hinds

On Monday 17 June, the Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, gave a major speech on disadvantage and social mobility, hosted by Reform.

The speech received coverage in Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, The TelegraphBBC News, Local Gov and Schools Week.

You can read a full transcript of the Secretary of State's speech 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. 

Simon Stevens

Coverage of Reform's 2019 Digital Health conference

On 5 June 2019, Reform held a digital health conference where Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, gave opening remarks. The event received coverage in the Health Service Journal, the Evening Standard, DigitalHealth, the Telegraph and The Times

Charlotte Pickles, Reform

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

FE news

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.

BBC 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 Logo

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.

Public Finance

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

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 Logo

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 logo

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.