Policy Briefings


Schools Adjudicator – 2017 annual report

February 21, 2018

The Schools Adjudicator service allows individuals and local authorities to refer questions over the fairness and reasonableness of school admission arrangements for independent scrutiny. This briefing looks at the just published annual report, covering the whole range of the Chief Adjudicator's work including appeals against an LA direction to a…


China’s ban on ‘foreign garbage’, and what it means

February 19, 2018

The new Chinese restrictions on imports of waste for recycling have led to fears that waste could pile up and recycling rates fall. This briefing explains the ban and its context, then looks at how the government and the recycling industry have responded, as well as considering possible solutions.


Identity, Communities, Regeneration: sense of place in local government

February 15, 2018

What makes a place a place, what makes some places work and others not and how can councils chart the story of their places and respond to the changes that inevitably happen? This briefing summarises our new long read Identity, Communities, Regeneration: sense of place in local government.


Northern Powerhouse Partnership: Educating the North

February 15, 2018

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s Educating the North: driving ambition across the powerhouse describes education as ‘perhaps the greatest challenge we face in the North’, and documents that ‘educational attainment in the North of England lags behind the South… This briefing looks at the 14 recommendations covering early years; the impact…


Housing and planning round-up February 2018

February 15, 2018

Our new monthly housing and planning round up includes government announcements, latest housing and planning news, major reports and ongoing consultation documents. This month’s ‘big issue’ is the private rented sector.


Promoting entrepreneurship in local economies

February 13, 2018

Start-up companies represent an important way to maintain employment and prosperity. A key question for local authorities is determining – and supporting – the factors associated with higher levels of entrepreneurship in their local economy. ‘Neighbourhood economic models’ a report from the Power to Change Research Institute considers this question.


Planning council budgets 2018-19

February 12, 2018

We look here at key factors likely to influence council budget preparation for 2018-19, including the political and economic context, inflationary and service demand pressures and at longer term strategic issues including the government’s funding review and possible revisions to the prudential borrowing code.


DfE consultation – Qualified Teaching Status, and teacher supply update

February 8, 2018

A well-trained, well-paid, competent and independent teaching profession is a necessity for a modern democratic society. However, there continue to be problems with the teaching profession in England. This briefing updates on recent Government initiatives to support teachers including the current consultation on Qualified Teacher Status and workload reduction, entry…


National Audit Office Report on PFI and PF2

February 7, 2018

This NAO report presents information on the rationale, costs and benefits of the Private Finance Initiative, its use and impact, and its ability to make savings from operational contracts; it also deals with the introduction of PF2.