The Week

The Week, 8 September 2017

Oxbridge have for the first time occupied the top two places in the international league tables. Reform’s newest report published this week, however, shows that they do not do so well in another extremely important metric: widening participation to students from less advantaged backgrounds.

Eleonora Harwich, Senior Researcher

Reformers of the week

Nicola Sturgeon, for renewing her promise to increase the autonomy of schools.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, for pioneering a virtual fracture clinic which has reduced outpatient appointments by 56 per cent, saving the NHS more than £750,000.

Reactionary of the week

GPs, for threatening to stop taking in patients as a form of industrial action.

Good week for…

Integrated digital health and social care records

On Monday, it was reported that Camden’s CCG integrated health and social care records are showing promising signs as 1,400 staff have accessed the service in the past 18 months.

Early intervention

On Tuesday, Andy Burnham, announced an early intervention scheme to improve the ‘school-readiness’ of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


On Friday, it was reported that fraud levels have more than doubled across Whitehall.

Bad week for…


On Monday, the Local Government Association warned Government that stalling on its devolution deals will only hinder opportunities of economic growth.


On Wednesday, it was reported that the ONS had to delay the publication of its retail index data due to IT issues.

In work poverty

On Thursday, it was reported that one in eight workers struggle to afford food.


“We are clear that the police should not be expected to act in the stead of health professionals. They cannot be expected to do that satisfactorily—and it takes them away from their primary function of tackling crime. Nor can it be in the best interests of the people affected, who need quick access to professional mental health assistance.”

Sarah Newton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, speaking at the joint National Police Chiefs Council and College of Policing conference on mental health on Tuesday.

“The best way to ensure fair, equal treatment is to subject decision-making to scrutiny – helping identify and eliminate bias at source.”

Rt Hon David Lammy MP, in his independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System published on Friday.

Reform’s Week


On Tuesday, Reform launched Joining the elite: how top universities can enhance social mobility, a report arguing that top universities need to be held accountable for diversifying their student intakes. The report was covered as an exclusive in The Guardian.


On Wednesday, Emilie Sundorph, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for the Times Higher Education regarding Tuesday’s report, arguing that top universities are failing to diversify their student intakes.

The Reformer Blog

This week, Emile SundorphMary Curnock Cook, former CEO of UCAS and Kirsty Wadsley, Head of Widening Participation at the London School of Economics, all wrote about how universities can improve access to disadvantaged students.

On Thursday, Louis Coiffait, Head of Education at Reform, argued that the Government must be more pro-active in maximising the potential of EdTech for English schools.


On ThursdayReform held a roundtable on the prospects for public service reform led by Richard Bacon MP in partnership with Deloitte.

Also on ThursdayReform held a policy dinner on the theme of trade and investment in the wake of Brexit led by Rt Hon Greg Hands MP and hosted by Barclays.

Upcoming Events

Reform has several events this Autumn, including our Annual Dinner on 20th September with Martin Ivens, Editor of The Sunday Times, which will mark Reform’s 15th birthday.