The Week

The Week, 17 May 2019

Reformer of the week

Ofsted, for unveiling on Tuesday that their new assessment framework for schools will look beyond test results in an effort to provide a more holistic understanding of how successful schools and teachers are in helping pupils to learn.

Quotes of the week

“We see loneliness as a major public health challenge. Up to a fifth of all UK adults feel lonely most or all of the time. […] The UK Government will invest a million pounds to drive social tech innovation in civil society, to help develop solutions to tackle loneliness and bring communities together." - Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport speaking on Thursday about how technology can help tackle pressing social problems.

“If you’ve not defined an outcome, you’re not commissioning, you’re shopping. […] Waiting until someone is homeless before you do anything about it is simply bad value for money.” - Aileen Murphie, Director, Ministry of Housing, Community, and Local Government Value for Money at the National Audit Office talking at Tuesday’s Reform event on homelessness prevention.

Good week for

Understanding poverty

The Department for Work and Pensions agreed on Friday to start publishing new poverty statistics from 2020 to provide a more detailed picture of how and why people find themselves in poverty.

Bad week for

Care Homes

A study released this week by Age UK has revealed that staff shortages mean over a million people aged 65 or over live in the quarter of English postcode areas which have no care home beds available at all.

Reform’s Week

On Tuesday, Reform published a report assessing local approaches to youth homelessness which found stark variation in the quality of support available to young people at risk. Reform marked the report launch by holding an event with Bob Blackman MP and representatives from Crisis, the National Audit Office and local government to discuss how public services can work together to prevent youth homelessness. The report was covered in: The Independent, The Big Issue, Huffington Post, The MJ, Local Gov and Inside Housing. Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, appeared on BBC Radio London on Tuesday to discuss the findings of the report. Reform also published four blogs to accompany the report from: Imogen Farhan, Researcher at Reform and report co-author; Matt Horwood, Assistant Director of Communications, and Sean Bookless, Digital Services and Innovation Manager at akt; Ruth Jacob, Senior Policy Officer at Crisis; and Marike van Harskamp, Development and Partnership Manager at New Horizon Youth Centre.

Dr Joshua Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, was interviewed on Thursday by Michael Graham at talkRADIO about the decision to renationalise the probation service. He was also interviewed for the Financial Times and quoted in Public Finance on the same topic.

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher at Reform, published an op-ed in Public Finance, discussing the need for more secure funding streams to allow local authorities to develop effective homelessness prevention strategies.

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research at Reform, was referenced in a write-up by Edge Health for their event “Taking the pAIn out of AI”.

On Monday, Reform held a roundtable with Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport, to discuss the transformative potential that technology can play in creating a modern transport system. The event was supported by BT.