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As the dust settles following the general election, we enter a new parliamentary term. The government and public sector is still under pressure and will be for the next few years. Our blog explores what the top priorities are to deliver manifesto commitments while bringing the public finances into balance.

26 May 2016

Is devolution the solution to local government’s financial woes?

By Chris Buttress While local government continues to face real financial challenges, the sector is starting to think differently about its purpose and role. Local government is in an interesting position. On the one hand, given the looming financial challenges, the outlook seems bleak. Indeed, our annual local government survey...

24 May 2016

Non Executive Directors: the NHS unsung and unsupported heroes...

By Mike Farrar Talk to any NED in the NHS and you will hear a similar story - "we are doing this to contribute something to the NHS, in which we passionately believe; we are committed to improving patient care, we are more than prepared to be held to account...

19 May 2016

Will the Queen’s speech deliver?

By Nick C Jones With so much focus on the EU referendum, this year’s Queen’s Speech was an opportunity to return the spotlight, if briefly in the short term, onto the domestic agenda and delivering the plan set out in the manifesto. It’s clear that the reforming zeal will focus...

11 May 2016

Multi Academy Trust Performance

By Chris Kirk There are many different ways you can compare Multi Academy Trusts, and our analysis, published initially in The Times, is intended to contribute to this discussion. In our previous analysis of those MATs which have a consistently positive effect on the schools that join them, we have...

06 May 2016

Turning the tanker around – encouraging the right culture for public sector whistleblowing

The government has implemented a series of central government reforms to improve the treatment of whistleblowers. Yet Parliamentary pressure for faster and wider change remains, not least to address deep-seated cultural barriers to the raising of concerns.

05 May 2016

Topping the Premier League, but can Leicester cash in?

The rise of Leicester to Premier League champions has been a remarkable story. And one filled with romance and a gripping narrative. But how can the local economy benefit? Will it take the brand and identity of Leicester to a different level?

27 April 2016

If money doesn’t make us happy, why do we focus on GDP?

By Rebecca McDonald and Lucy Rimmington In 2010, David Cameron stated that “our success as a country is about more than economic growth”, and launched an initiative to measure this broader view of national success. The result was the birth of the ONS’s Measuring National Wellbeing Programme, which is designed...

19 April 2016

Is small (still) beautiful? Social housing lessons from the Netherlands

By Matthew Williams How much does size matter when it comes to social housing? As the social housing sector in the UK looks to consolidate and refocus, we explore lessons from the experience of the Netherlands. The social housing sector in the Netherlands is not dissimilar to the UK in...

14 April 2016

EU and the challenge for universities

By Tina Hallett and Ian Looker As part of a series of blogs, Ian Looker and Tina Hallett consider how Brexit might impact on higher education. Higher education is becoming ever more internationalised. As such, anything that hinders connections internationally is something to be concerned about. So what would the...

01 April 2016

A starter for Carter

By Brian Pomering The long-awaited Carter Review has been well received but the emphasis now has to shift to implementation. Has the NHS got the capabilities it needs to get Carter done? The Carter report started as a piece of gap analysis: how can the NHS bridge the gap between...

24 March 2016

Ambition for change in local government finance is strong in Wales

By Lynn Pamment It is clear that the status quo in Welsh local government can no longer be maintained. Wales’ increasingly devolved public services and the challenges of ongoing and sustained public sector austerity combine to drive a need for change in the finance model. It is also clear, that...

Building an effective and efficient Academy system in England

By Chris Kirk, Jude Simpson, Imogen Baker, Ben Sheppard and Neil Loveday The budget announcement and DFE White Paper makes it clear that every school will be an Academy by 2022. What steps can school leaders and policy makers take to be part of an Academy based system which is...

Leaving the EU: Implications for the public sector

By Tina Hallett and Nick C Jones In the first in a series of blogs, Tina Hallett and Nick C Jones consider how Brexit might impact on the UK public sector. The political debate on Brexit will soon reach fever pitch, but what does a possible vote to leave the...

21 March 2016

Devolution: Budget detail adds to the revolution

By Michael Moore The Budget is almost always about the detail. Twenty years of commenting on these great events taught me one big lesson – the day itself is (usually) the Chancellor’s, but after that things are less predictable as the country comes to terms with all the fine print....

Healthcare's workforce challenge: the inevitability of workforce demand and the difficulty of affordable supply

By Mike Farrar In PwC’s recently published UK Economic Outlook, March 2016, we projected that, as we look forward to 2025, there is likely to be a continuation of relatively strong growth of jobs in the health and education sectors. This refers to the total number of jobs in both...

18 March 2016

Public sector contracts: Are you getting what you’ve paid for?

By Claire Halstead and Katie Mills The UK public sector spends over £100bn per annum on contracts with third-party suppliers, which means that the management of these contracts has huge potential to deliver value for money for taxpayers (or, of course, the opposite). The drive for cost savings has seen...

17 March 2016

Budget 2016 -  A twist in the tail for public sector transformation  

By Tina Hallett Today's blog is on the 2016 Budget and considers what it means for the public sector Another Budget and more pain for public sector budgets as the Chancellor battles to deliver his promised surplus by 2020. This has become even more important given the pressure on meeting...

16 March 2016

The outlook is far from rosy inside the ring-fence: Budget 2016 and NHS finances

By Quentin Cole With the ring-fence still firmly intact, there were no great expectations for the health sector from this week’s Budget. While the longer term health challenges the population is facing were acknowledged through the attempt to tackle child obesity through a sugar levy, with NHS finances continuing to...

14 March 2016

The future for public service jobs: where will the growth be?

By John Hawksworth and Nick C Jones The UK has been a powerful job creating machine in recent years, with gains in private (and some public) services sectors far outweighing cuts in manufacturing and some parts of government. But what can we expect for public services over the next decade...

Beyond council control: harnessing the power of participation

By Ian Evans and Ben Pykett For many years, local authorities have sought to improve outcomes for citizens primarily by managing the delivery of services, by providing strong leadership, taking tough decisions and exerting control over the services provided in their areas. However, the ability of most local authorities to...