The Week, 21 June 2019

21 June 2019
By Luke Heselwood
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Reformer of the Week

Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education

For his evidence-based speech for Reform, which dissected the challenges facing disadvantaged children and the impact of ethnicity, language, place, the home environment and childhood adversity.

Reactionary of the Week

TV debates

In both Tory leadership debates on Channel 4 and the BBC, candidates failed to offer a clear vision for the future of public services. The TV hosts also failed to challenge the candidates to provide more detail.

Good week for...

Personalised cancer care

Patients in England could be among the first to access innovative cancer drugs after Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, called for new medicines to be fast-tracked. Earlier this month, Reform published a series of blogs on data-driven cancer care.

Ethical AI

The University of Oxford received the single largest donation to a UK university to create an institute dedicated to the ethics of AI. Tasked with setting an ethical framework for AI, the fund will help the UK be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.   

Bad week for... 

Working households

Research from the IfS found that the relative poverty rate for people living in working households, which is less than 60 per cent of median income, has risen. From the mid-1990s to 2017, the in-work poverty rate has increased from 13 to 18 per cent.

Rough sleeping in the Capital

According to new data, rough sleeping in London has reached a record high – up 18 per cent from the previous year. Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, was quoted on this issue in The Big Issue.

Quote of the Week

“There’s no point putting extra money in if the existing money isn’t being used properly.”

Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, on Thursday. Reform has expressed similar views, most recently in Luke Heselwood’s article for TES.  

Reform’s week

Reform published four blogs this week. Annemarie Naylor MBE, Director of Policy and Strategy at Future Care Capital, discussed how to harness the value of health data. Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher at Reform, argued that the Tory leadership candidates are missing the mark on knife crime. Denise Silber, Founder at Doctors 2.0 & You, examined whether digital healthcare has realised its promise. Luke Heselwood and Imogen Farhan, Researcher at Reform, analysed the second leadership debate and offered views on what could have been said. 

On Monday, Reform hosted a major policy speech with RT Hon Damian Hinds MP on disadvantage and social mobility. It was covered in the Guardian, the Independent, BBC News, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, Local Gov and Schools Week.

On Tuesday, Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, appeared on Talk Radio to discuss the speech.

On Thursday, Luke Heselwood was quoted in The Big Issue:

“The Government’s flagship homelessness legislation is failing the most vulnerable in society. Rather than waiting until people are on the streets, a preventative approach is needed. This will require a multi-agency response and long-term funding to support London boroughs facing increasing pressures.”

Reform was visited by Sir Bill English KNZM, former New Zealand Prime Minister, who discussed social investment, short-termism and civil service reform.