The Week

The Week, 11 October 2019

Reactionary of The Week

Outgoing Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, for proposing banning snacking in public transport to tackle obesity - a paternalistic and impractical solution to the problem.

Quotes of the Week

“I am clear that universities must end grade inflation and I will be watching closely to see if these initiatives do help to tackle the issue. I expect the Office for Students to challenge institutions which continue to record unexplained rises in top degrees awarded.”

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP,  Secretary of State for Education, on Thursday

“In the long term the only sustainable response to a smaller economy is to spend less on public services or tax more to support them. This is not the time for permanent tax cuts or spending increases.”

Christine Farquharson, Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, on Tuesday

Good week For

Supporting ex-offenders at risk of homelessness

As part of the £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy, the Ministry of Justice launched a new scheme which will provide 400 vulnerable offenders leaving prison with accommodation for up to two years and support to rebuild their lives.

Tackling grade inflation

British universities have pledged to justify publicly the way they assess their students’ performance, after reports by the Office for Students showed that the number of students awarded first-class degrees had increased from 16 per cent in 2010-11 to 29 per cent in 2017-18. Reform has proposed a new model to prevent grade inflation.   

Bad week for

Families on housing benefit

Analysis by the National Housing Federation revealed that more than 93 per cent of family homes are unaffordable to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) claimants, and that in some parts of the country less than one per cent of properties are covered by the LHA rate.

Obesity among children

Data from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme revealed that obesity among children age 10 to 11 is at a record high, with children from the most deprived communities at higher risk of being overweight or obese.

Reform’s Week

On Tuesday, Reform published a Reformer Thoughts on ‘Ways to Work’, looking at how to create opportunities for groups struggling to access the labour market. This publication was kindly supported by Barclays. 

On Wednesday, Reform held a policy roundtable on Digital Transformation in Government with Niall Quinn, Technology Director at the Crown Commercial Service.

On Wednesday, Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research at Reform, was named in Moonshot for Life’s Hot 25 in Healthcare.

On Thursday, Imogen Farhan, Researcher at Reform, argued in City AM that the Winter-Fuel Allowance should be means-tested and redirected to those in greatest need.

This week we published policy Fact Sheets on Pensions and Community Sentencing on Reform's Public Spending microsite.