The Week

The Week, 2 August 2019

Reformer of the week

The Work and Pensions Select Committee for calling out the Department for Work and Pensions for its failure to establish appropriate targets for its own performance.

Quotes of the week

“Being on a war cabinet footing and making breathless announcements of spending at pace is a long way from delivering anything meaningful at the front line.”

Meg Hillier MP, commenting on the £2 billion no-deal funding announcement on Thursday.  

“The Department is clear about what it expects from claimants, but lacks any kind of publicly available, measurable targets for its own performance."

Work and Pensions Select Committee on Thursday.

Good week for

Cutting reoffending

Research by the Ministry of Justice's Data Lab reveals that the Clink Restaurant training scheme has helped significantly reduce rates of reoffending. Between 2009 and 2016 those who participated in the programme had a 15 per cent reoffending rate, compared to 22 per cent for those who did not.

New approaches to regulation

The Information Commissioner’s Office has announced the first ten projects that will participate in the beta phase of their regulatory sandbox. This will help ensure that new innovations deliver public benefit and comply with data protection from the outset.

Bad week for

Social mobility

Research shows that progress on closing the education gap stagnated last year.  Disadvantaged pupils in England are, on average, 18 months behind their classmates at GCSE level. If no action is taken, it will take 500 years to close the gap.

Poverty and destitution

Analysis by the Social Metrics Commission revealed that 14 million people, a fifth of the UK’s population, live in poverty. Worryingly, over 4 million people are in “deep poverty” meaning that they are 50 per cent below the official poverty line.

Reform’s Week

Claudia Martinez, Research Manager at Reform, authored a comment piece for Mental Health Today discussing data-driven mental health and the need to involve patients when designing new technology solutions.