Press coverage

Find coverage in the press of Reform's latest work below. 

We are always happy to comment on policy issues relevant to our work. If you would like a quote, an interview, or a background briefing, please email press@reform.uk or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

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Public Finance, 13 February 2017

Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for Public Finance following the announcement of the Government's Transformation Strategy. Watch Ben Gummer MP announce it at our Annual conference here. Ben Gummer has outlined a dramatic vision of change through the Government Transformation Strategy. This will require a "disruption of current working practices, better use of data to design services that meet the current and future needs of citizens, not Whitehall silos." This means that leadership roles, working patterns and culture are all due an upgrade, and this transformative business model must become part of "the DNA of public servants".  

Read the full article here.

Schools Week, 11 February 2017

Louis Coiffait, Head of Education at Reform, wrote an article in Schools Week following the publication of Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter workforce. He argued that getting people with the right skills and behaviours into the right roles in the schools workforce, the second largest in the public sector, is central to the success of students and the satisfaction of staff. Embracing new technologies can offer an opportunities to increase the productivity of all staff. The future role of the gig economy platforms, particularly for employing supply teachers or exam invigilators, could be huge.

"Some of these changes can be challenging, but this isn’t about robot-teachers – it’s about making sure all public-sector workers, especially in education, are empowered to use the latest tools and thinking."  

Read the full article here.

Newsnight, 10 February 2017

Charlotte Pickles, Deputy Director and Head of Research at Reform, appeared on Newsnight to discuss the legacy of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, outgoing commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.  

Watch the full programme here.

The Guardian Public Leaders' Network, 9 February 2017

Eleonora Harwich wrote an article in The Guardian Public Leaders Network following the publication of Reform's report, Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce. Governments around the world have recognised the potential of AI, Japan and Singapore being particular examples. The UK is well-placed to harness AI through its universities and private sector, but the government’s AI strategy is less clear.

"The UK is well placed to make the most of this ever evolving technology – but success requires a comprehensive strategy and an open conversation with the public."  

Read the full article here.

Reform Annual conference: media coverage

In February 2017, Reform held its Annual Conference where the Rt Hon Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, delivered the keynote speech. During the event, he launched the Government Transformation Strategy.  Media coverage from the event is here.

Computer Weekly "Announcing the strategy at a conference organised by the Reform think tank, Gummer said 2016’s Brexit vote showed “the interface between government and the people has become increasingly fraught”." Read the full article here.

Digital by default news "Delivering the keynote speech at the Reform think tank’s annual conference in central London, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, outlined the government’s commitment to build on the Digital by Default services developed under the previous digital transformation strategy." Read the full article here.

TES, 7 February 2017

Emilie Sundorph, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for TES following the launch of Work in progress. Towards a smarter, learner public-sector workforce. Education reform is at the heart of the prime minister’s social mobility agenda. Great teaching will play a crucial role in this, helping students overcome their challenges. However, before graduate programmes like Teach First are expanded, it is vital to identify which components of Teach First offer best value for money, as well as other, more affordable, ways of training teachers. The UK should also be careful of creating narrow, graduate-only paths to employment. Apprenticeships may offer an important alternative route into teaching.

"Given the complexity of the challenges that most schools face – a battle to both overcome the attainment gap and to recruit the teachers that will help them do so, all within restrained budgets – they should thoughtfully embrace the opportunities that apprentices will bring with them."  

Read the full article here.

Policing Insight, 7 February 2017

Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher, and Emilie Sundorph, Researcher, at Reform co-authored an article for Policing Insight following the launch of Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter workforce. The frontline of policing is changing. In 2016 there were 5.2 million examples of fraud and computer misuse and almost as many as the 6.2 million traditional crimes. There is potential for technology to help frontline staff, such as facial recognition and building on predictive policing programmes. It is crucial therefore to get the right people into policing. Diversity will be an important element of this, and apprenticeships is an opportunity to widen the intake.

"A new mentality of openness, innovation and diversity should embody the future of policing. If this is achieved it will be positive and disruptive"  

Read the full article here.

Reform report coverage: 'Work in progress'

Reform launched a report on Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce on how the public-sector workforce can be brought up-to-date and modern. A variety of media outlets covered the report, highlighting how technology and automation can streamline the public service, both at Whitehall but also on the frontline of public services. The impact of the gig economy is also explored. Coverage can be found in the following outlets: The Guardian The Times The Sun The Telegraph Civil Service World City AM  The Independent Sky News Mail Online ITV News The Express The Mirror Public Finance International Business Times ITProPortal Computer Business Review Business Insider UK The Yorkshire Post Schools Week The Stack London Loves Business Tech City News Digital By Default News Tech Radar Gizmodo Local Gov People Management Politics Home Government Computing Wired

Civil Service World, 6 February 2017

Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Civil Service World following the publication of Reform's report, Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce. Government needs to deliver new ways of working for public servants, embracing technology to deliver tailored, personalised, accessible services to citizens. Any upgrade in services must start with the workforce – which accounts for 50% of day-to-day spend in the public sector. However, the aim should be to build a workforce around people's needs, not a "salami-slicing activity", which we have seen previously, where Ministers have often taken tactical decisions. This new approach should also be underpinned by a new mentality: a culture of innovation.

"This builds on a new mentality signalled by Ben Gummer – one that moves from a focus on cost-cutting measures to designing sustainable services that work for citizens. A new culture is also a better offer for public servants, who are there to serve the public."  

Read the full article here.