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Report cover showing students reading a prospectus

Widening participation in higher education

“Not enough is known about the extent to which disadvantaged groups are under-represented in higher education, or what measures to widen participation are most effective. The Department and the Funding Council need to secure better data on participation, for example by social class or disability. They could tailor provision more closely to people’s circumstances, such as where they live and when they can study.”

Published:
25 Jun 2008
Report cover showing children using audio-visual equipment

The British Council: Achieving Impact

“The British Council’s work is valued by its customers and stakeholders. It faces a difficult challenge in delivering a wide range of products and services in 110 countries worldwide. High performance in some areas such as performance measurement and customer satisfaction needs to expand across every strand of activity. Project and programme management need to be strengthened and customer relationship systems and service standards enhanced.”

Published:
11 Jun 2008
Report cover showing people studying

Skills for Life: Progress in Improving Adult Literacy and Numeracy

“The Skills for Life strategy is making good progress in improving the skill levels of adults with poor literacy, language and numeracy skills. Building on this progress, the Department needs to reduce regional variations in participation and in achievement levels for people with literacy or numeracy needs. It could also work more closely with other parts of government to encourage people to take up Skills for Life courses.”

Published:
6 Jun 2008
Report cover showing a doctor with a patient

The National Programme for IT in the NHS: Progress since 2006

“The scale of the challenge involved in delivering the National Programme for IT has proved to be far greater than envisaged at the start, with serious delays in delivering the new care records systems. Progress is being made, however, and financial savings and other benefits are beginning to emerge. The priority now is to finish developing and deploying care records systems that will help NHS Trusts to achieve the Programme’s intended benefits of improved services and better patient care.”

Published:
16 May 2008
Report cover showing a motorway

The Procurement of the National Roads Telecommunications Services

“The Highways Agency’s procurement identified the risks to the National Roads Telecommunications Services project and successfully transferred them to the private sector, conducting negotiations with the preferred bidder well. It did however take a lot longer than planned and only two bidders remained through to the end of the competition. There are good practice lessons both for the Agency and for other major public procurements”

Published:
4 Apr 2008
Report cover showing men painting a wall

Meeting needs? The Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service

“The Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service has made less progress than it might have done in helping offenders to get back into work after they are released, one of the most important factors in reducing reoffending. Some of the fundamentals, which departments have known about for years, are still not in place – matters like identifying which courses most help offenders to get a job, identifying which offenders need which skills, and helping more of them to finish a course they start. The Departments’ action plan, to be issued shortly, must make it crystal clear how these problems will be addressed effectively.”

Published:
7 Mar 2008
Report cover showing pupils in classroom

Partnering for success: Preparing to deliver the 14-19 education reforms in England

“Getting these reforms right will be vital to the futures of many of our young people. In many cases, local institutions and people on the ground are responding impressively to the need for genuine collaboration to deliver the best education possible for all young people. But the less well developed areas still have much to do to provide all the options young people will be entitled to by 2013.”

Published:
13 Dec 2007
Report cover showing students

Staying the course: the retention of students in higher education

“Compared to most other countries, a high proportion of students in higher education are successfully completing their courses. This is a good achievement at a time when higher education is being opened up to more students. But variations in retention rates between higher education institutions indicate that retention could be increased further, bringing major benefits to the extra students who would complete their studies and more value to the taxpayer and the economy from the public funds expended on higher education.”

Published:
26 Jul 2007
Report cover image of pupils at work in a modern building.

The Academies Programme

“Our report today shows that the Academies programme is improving the standards of education and raising the achievements of pupils from deprived backgrounds. These are early days and more remains to be done, especially in improving English and maths results. The challenge for academies is to sustain the improvements while also spreading their benefits more widely in their communities.

“For the programme, the challenge is to manage capital costs better for the hundreds of new academies still planned to be built and to use the lessons from the programme, for example on good quality school buildings, to get good value for money for the large capital investment currently being made in academies and other secondary schools.”

Published:
23 Feb 2007