Public Service Reform

Groundwork done – now for a new debate

Alex White  |  15 October 2013

Welcome to the new job, Tristram Hunt. If you look to your left, you’ll see that because you aren’t advocating full local control over schools, you are clearly incapable of being ‘distinctive and principled’. And if you look to your right, you’ll see the infernal ranting of a man whose faux-confusion and outrage is hopefully …

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The Politics of Public Sector Reform

Sonia Sodha  |  2 October 2013

The Politics of Public Sector Reform by Michael Burton is a rich yet concise account of public service reform over the past three decades that goes beyond the politics of public service reform to also look at reforms in each key area of public services, and different types of performance management regimes. The book examines …

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Police and crime commissioners: A Labour view

Roy Bailey  |  28 June 2013

In an earlier article for Progress, I suggested that in order to restore public confidence in the democratic governance of the police, the Labour party needed to develop its own policy on police and crime commissioners in good time for the 201 per cent general election. Seven months into the new arrangements and following yet …

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Ready to reform

Sonia Sodha  |  27 June 2013

Labour must rediscover a zeal for public service reform, argues Sonia Sodha The June spending round set out the extra cuts each government department will need to find in 2015 to meet George Osborne’s trajectory for public spending. It is a grim settlement for public services. But there will be even tougher news to come, …

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Clinician knows best?

John Woodcock MP  |  16 May 2013

When we come to look back at the history of the NHS over the current decade, with closure of local services causing anguish across the country, we may see this as the time when we were bound overly tightly to the idea that the clinician always knows best. Indeed, this government’s blind faith in the …

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Stop the privatisation of East Coast

Sheila Gilmore  |  7 May 2013

In an interview with Progress last year, Labour’s shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle called for East Coast trains to remain in the public sector in the long term. At the time this represented a shift in the party’s policy. When the previous operator National Express collapsed in 2009 and the government took responsibility for running …

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More clout for patients

Neil Churchill  |  13 February 2013

The publication of the Francis report on the scandal at Mid-Staffs has prompted a grown-up debate with both the coalition and Labour giving considered responses. Both parties rightly promised to avoid a river of new regulations but key differences in approach nevertheless emerged. The report, it must be said, offers some devastating verdicts on past …

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Cooperation in schools

Tom Levitt  |  6 February 2013

There is a quiet revolution going on in England’s schools. They have discovered that implementing controversial Labour legislation on trust schools and academies, coupled with the coalition’s manic passion for the latter, does not mean that school communities must be divided, isolated or divorced from accountable local authorities and other community institutions. The Cooperative Schools …

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Getting men into the primary classroom

Ralph Berry  |  29 January 2013

Recent reports have reminded us that around one in four primary schools currently have no male teacher. It’s not a new problem but, until recently, the efforts to improve the entry of men into the profession were struggling, and a sense of fatalism seemed to have taken hold. Where children are affected by separation of …

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Green paper thinking from Burnham

Neil Churchill  |  24 January 2013

At worst, Labour looked conservative and swayed by producer interests in its final stage in government and early years of opposition. Today, Andy Burnham positioned the party as a powerful agent of change, based on the vision of ending fear of old age. In so doing, he avoided some of the mistakes made by the …

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