General Reports and Other Publications

Newswire – CBI: The CBI has said that, ‘if future growth is to be assured, the UK must adapt and improve its policies to recognise the concerns of investors’. At its flagship annual conference last week, the CBI unveiled the findings of new research on The UK as a place to invest, which highlights what matters most to would-be investors and likely patterns of investment during the next five years.
Press release ~ The UK as a place to invest
 
Newswire – RUSIAppropriate military assets should be considered for sustainable security in the Artic, says latest RUSI Whitehall PaperEnvironmental Security in the Arctic Ocean: Promoting Co-operation and Preventing Conflict (by Professor Paul Berkman) calls for heads of state to co-operate more closely to make sure sustainable development can succeed.
 
The paper contends that peace in the Arctic is in the common interest of all states, particularly the 5 who border the region.  The report argues that a military presence is required to stabilise the region.
Press release ~ To order a copy of the paper click here
 
Newswire – CIPD: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Annual Absence Surveyreveals persistently higher absence levels in the public sector, with stress the most common cause (35%)of long-term absence among all employees
 
Published 5 days after the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) highlighting the importance of improving public sector productivity, the survey shows that 56% rated organisational change/restructuring as a top-3 cause of work-related stress
Press release ~ Absence Survey
 
Civitas: With the spending review over, the Government needs to focus on economic growth, but already it has taken a false step.  The Government's proposed Green Investment Bank (GIB), which is intended to fund low carbon enterprises & pollution reducing investments, is too restricted and as a result will reduce economic growth, says independent think tank Civitas.
 
Instead, a broader Industry Bank should be set up to meet the needs of all British manufacturers, not only the sectors currently in vogue with our political elites.  In particular, with gross exports of £179bn in 2009, the wider manufacturing sector is too valuable to ignore.
 
Britain has a history of establishing successful industrial banks.  For example, the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation (ICFC) was set up in 1945.  A Civitas report by David Merlin-Jones - The Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation: Lessons from the past for the future – shows that the ICFC provides a successful model for a new Industrial Bank.
Press release ~ Civitas
 
KF: A new survey commissioned by The King’s Fund with Doctors.net.uk (DNUK) has revealed significant scepticism among doctors about the government’s proposed health reformsLess than 25% of doctors believe that the government’s proposed reforms will improve patient care.  
Press release ~ Survey ~ www.doctors.net.uk
 
Ofsted‘Diplomas’ are enthusing learners but weaknesses remain, according to a report published by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Some aspects of the Diploma – especially the main subject content known as ‘principal learning’ – are working well, but the qualification as a whole is proving complex & challenging for both learners & providers.
 
The report, Diplomas: the second year, reports that while Her Majesty’s Inspectors found strengths in the main subject content of Diplomas (the ‘principal learning’), the delivery of the ‘functional skills’ of English, mathematics and ICT was often weak.  

When taught in isolation from the vocational content of the Diploma –sometimes in a different institution - the lack of connection left learners struggling to develop & apply functional skills.
Press release ~ Diplomas: the second year
 
Newswire – JCHR: The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published its Third Report of Session 2010-11, in which it expresses concern over some of the significant human rights issues raised by the Government's Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Bill.
Press release ~ Report: Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Bill (Preliminary Report) ~ Joint Committee on Human Rights ~ Bills before Parliament: Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Bill
 
Newswire – WAC:  A report from the Welsh Affairs Committee considers the impact of the Government’s proposals to reduce the number of MPs and equalise constituencies.  

These proposals would see Wales lose 10 of its 40 parliamentary seats, a reduction of 25%.  This would be a profound change to the way Wales is represented in Parliament, the Report concludes. 
Press release ~ Report: The implications for Wales of the Government's proposals on constitutional reform ~ Welsh Affairs Committee
 
Newswire – LI: Britain has failed to make headway in the international league table of national success, according to the 'world’s most comprehensive survey of wealth and happiness'. The UK is stuck at 13th, well outside the top ten, says the survey, which employs a ground-breaking new definition of prosperity bringing together extensive data on economic performance and quality of life.

Mediocre scores in health & education hold back the UK, according to the 2010 Legatum Prosperity Index, a survey of economy & wellbeing among 110 countries covering 90% of the world’s population.
Press release ~ www.li.com ~ www.prosperity.com
 
CRCRural schools could hold the key to the ‘Big Society’, but need to maintain their commitment to wider extended services, such as breakfast clubs, youth work and support for families, according to a new report by Capacity for the Commission for Rural Communities.

Small Schools, Big Communities: Village Schools & Extended Services highlights the work of 4 extended services clusters in raising the achievement of children & young people in isolated communities.  Village schools, in particular, play a crucial role in tackling under achievement and in enabling families to access services.
Press release ~ Small Schools, Big Communities: Village Schools and Extended Services ~ Summary report ~ www.ruralcommunities.gov.uk

Newswire – LGA: Cllr Peter Box, Chairman of the Economy & Transport Board at the Local Government Association, has commented on the publication of the final independent report into winter resilience.
Press release ~ Final Report of the Review of the Resilience of England’s Transport Systems to Severe Winter Weather ~ LGA survey conducted for the start of gritting season
 
CH: There are enormous challenges facing China as it seeks to develop the renminbi (RMB) into an international currency & ultimately one of the world's key reserve currencies, says a new Chatham House paper. It argues that what China is trying to do is unprecedented.  Never before has there been an attempt to create an international fully convertible currency through a policy-driven process.
Press release ~ ‘One Currency, Two Systems': China's Renminbi Strategy
 
Defra: Findings from a new scientific study, released by the Countryside Survey Partnership, show that the total effect of changes to small patches of land over a number of years could be one of the factors in the decline of pollinating insects such as bees.
Press release ~ Countryside Survey Integrated Assessment report ~ Countryside Survey Partnership ~ Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
 
HEFCE: A new study reveals the demands, perceptions & needs of new & potential higher education students regarding online learning at universities & colleges. The report, 'explores the expectations and demand for online provision from future students and what training they might need in order to use it effectively’.
Press release ~ Student perspectives on technology – demand, perceptions and training needs ~ Study of UK online learning
 
Newswire - AC: A new report reviewing progress towards people taking control of their own social care funding says councils are facing major challenges in getting their financial arrangements right.  Some councils are lagging behind and are not on course to meet national plans.
Press release ~ Financial Management of Personal Budgets
 
Civitas: The Coalition Government’s proposals to transform commissioning in the NHS flies in the face of international evidence, according to a new report by independent think tank Civitas in conjunction with the Manchester Business School.
 
The Government intends to replace 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with ‘consortia’ of general practice, which is likely to lead to a proliferation of much smaller commissioning organisations.  In a King’s Fund survey of 1,000 doctors, just 23% felt this reform would improve patient care. 

The Civitas/Manchester Business School report (GP commissioning: does size matter?) shows that doctors are right to be sceptical: the move may well harm patient care.
Press release ~ King’s Fund survey ~ GP commissioning: does size matter? ~ Manchester Business School ~ Civitas
 
RUSI: The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) was a lost opportunity for a radical reassessment of the UK's position in the world, according to 68% of the defence & security community surveyed by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
 
'The Defence and Security Review Survey', asked 2,015 people from the defence & security community whether they agreed or disagreed to ten key statements covering the outcome of the defence review, future capabilities, national security and the UK's position in the world.
Press release (see PR for links to individual statements and related links)
Red Hat on automation (pt 2)