The Week

The Week, 4 August 2017

This week new evidence emerged that more money for schools and the NHS does not lead to significantly better outcomes, and that both public services are already starting to do more with less.

Louis Coiffait, Head of Education

Reformer of the week

Professor Tim Briggs, for his efficiency audit of the NHS that identified room for improvement within current funding levels.

Reactionary of the week

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, for saying on Tuesday that high senior civil servant salaries are “crazy and wrong”, when the challenge of public service reform demands the most talented people.

Good week for…

Public sector leader expertise

On Saturday, police chiefs around the world rejected President Trump’s advice about ‘not being too nice’ to suspects.

Housing supply

On Tuesday, a £45m land release fund was announced to help councils convert redundant buildings to housing.

NHS tech skills

On Tuesday, it was announced that three universities will run a ‘virtual’ NHS Digital Academy.

Bad week for…

NHS cyber-security

On Monday, an NHS Trust data breach saw staff details accidentally published online.

Waiting in airport queues

On Tuesday, tighter security checks across Europe increased wait times to as much as four hours. Recent Reform research pointed out how technology could achieve waits of fifteen seconds.

Value for money in schools

On Thursday, DfE research found that giving schools extra money does not significantly boost results.

Quotes of the week

“Our analysis was not able to establish a consistent link between funding levels and outcomes in schools over this period … significant evidence gaps remain.”

Department for Education, in analysis released on Thursday
“I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until we put our house in order.”

Professor Tim Briggs, the National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency, speaking to The Times on Friday

Reform’s Week


On Wednesday, Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, spoke about Reform’s busy period before recess was called, including events exploring HMRC’s digital transformation, the UK border, and higher education reform.