The Week, 18 January 2019

18 January 2019
By Aidan Shilson Thomas
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Reformer of the week

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, for proposing an overhaul of school inspections to put more weight on what students are learning about, rather than simply good exam results. The objective is to move away from an over-reliance on performance data which cannot reflect the quality of content taught.

Quotes of the Week

“It often matters ‘how’ results are achieved: done right, they reflect great education; done badly, they can give false assurance that young people have achieved well and are ready to progress. And no data measure can ever fully capture the quality of the education it reflects.”

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector

“The inability to measure quality is a massive barrier [to improving public services]. Central government isn’t gathering, analysing, sharing or guiding learning to build methodically on what is known.”

Mara Airoldi, Director of the GO Lab

Good week for

Personalised cancer care

A new breast cancer prediction tool can determine the exact risk of disease developing, allowing doctors to tailor treatment to patient need. Reform recently published a report showing that better use of data could improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Smart healthcare

 A ‘help at home’ scheme in Somerset has allowed patients to avoid spending 7,500 nights in acute beds, which has saved the NHS at least £2m.

Bad week for

The National Health Service

The National Audit Office has warned that the NHS 10-year plan does not account for the spending needs of social care, public health, and training.

The status quo

41 students from a state school in the London borough of Newham have received offers to study at Oxford or Cambridge, with most being from minority backgrounds.

Reform's Week

Reform published a blog by Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College London, who argued that more integrated hospital care could alleviate pressures on A&E departments.

Reform research on grade inflation was quoted in The Times on Thursday in an article commenting on a record number of firsts at universities in the UK.

Reform released two comments this week.

Commenting on a report on Civil Service Turnover produced by the Institute for Government, Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher, said that a better work-life balance could improve staff retention in the Civil Service.

Commenting on the National Audit Office’s annual report on the financial sustainability of the NHS, Andrew Haldenby, Director, said that a test for the long term plan will be that new spending is spent on reform ideas rather than swallowed in coping with day-to-day pressures.