Urban schools: funding matters and cuts will have consequences for academic achievement

It might seem self-evident that a school’s resources influence its pupils’ educational outcomes, yet so many studies have found little association between greater funding and improved academic achievement. Steve Gibbons and colleagues examine whether money makes a difference in the context of urban primary schools in England. The question of whether there is a link between school resources and pupil […]

Show – don’t tell: Political rhetoric is increasingly anecdotal but not particularly artful

Anecdotes have become one of the most common rhetorical devices in political speeches and debates to prove the success of policies or to illustrate that a leader is ‘down to earth’. Judi Atkins and Alan Finlayson explain why our politicians are ignoring Shakespeare and Keats and instead turning to ‘Holly from Southampton’ to prove their virtues. In the first of […]

Pressure is mounting on single parents to find work and move off benefits – but the government’s reforms will do very little to help

Rigid adherence to the conditions of jobseeker’s allowance inhibits, rather than enables, a single parent’s ability to find better paid employment, writes Phillippa Newis. Government would do better to be patient with single parents who wish to complete further education courses instead of forcing them to rely on unsustainable, poorly paid employment. One of the first provisions of the government’s […]

Freedom of information being difficult, inconvenient or expensive is not a reason to seek to limit its role

Ed Hammond argues that changes to the existing Freedom of Information regime could fatally flaw the openness and transparency of public authorities in the UK. The House of Commons Justice Select Committee’s post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act has seen a number of witnesses and members of the Committee positing some possibilities for the future of Freedom of Information […]

By unleashing the low-carbon economy we can create jobs and reduce deficits and debts

Voters in Greece, France and the United Kingdom have sent a clear signal in the past month that they want governments to give priority to jobs and opportunities as well as reducing deficits and debt. Lord Nicholas Stern argues that unleashing the low-carbon economy could achieve these goals. Framed by credible and stable policies, the European Union could then unlock private sector […]

Labour has a problem that is rooted in the blatant weaknesses of Britain’s democratic system

Olaf Cramme explains how the UK’s democratic system is cracking up. The deeper the rot goes, the emptier Labour’s noble promises will become. The party must urgently start giving more serious thought to how Britain’s representative democracy can be strengthened and confidence in government action be restored. Labour has a problem: it wants to be the party of radical political, social and economic change, […]

It is time to move away from policy witchcraft and into an era where evidence is taken seriously

Adrian Beecroft’s report on employment law has angered many who feel his recommendations are partisan and seek to erode a number of worker’s rights. John Van Reenen argues that although the report is both timely and addresses key issues in regulation, Beecroft appears to have ignored the wealth of research into the economic effects of employment laws. This evidence goes against his view that […]

Innovations in decommissioning public services could play a key role in building a more strategic and productive welfare state

Laura Bunt presents findings from a new report on the art of decommissioning existing public services and creating new improved ones in their place.  Exit, closure and decommissioning are all challenging issues to discuss in the context of public services. The prospect of a hospital closure or of shutting down a school, prison or care home, of decommissioning social care or homelessness services, or […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.