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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

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

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

Big science: Public investment in large scientific facilities

“The introduction of a shared plan covering all the Research Councils is beginning to deliver new large facilities which will be available to scientists from across the research base. Improvements are needed however, if the benefit of the current planned £1.2 billion investment in scientific facilities is to be maximised. Before a project is approved, the range of scientific, industrial and economic benefits should be consistently specified.

“The full financial impact of a facility also needs to be better understood to make sure that only those projects which are sustainable in the long term are selected. More consistent application of Government-wide project review procedures and greater sharing of procurement practices would help teams to deliver timely and economical projects.”

Published:
24 Jan 2007

Delivering successful IT-enabled business change

“IT projects in the public sector have too often been associated with failure – this report provides an opportunity to change that. Learning from experience is not just a case of appreciating what went wrong, but also encompasses understanding what went right. Success can never be guaranteed, but it should not be an unfathomable mystery. The common threads among these IT programmes and projects are evidence that a favourable outcome is not a matter of luck, but is the result of sound judgement.”

Published:
17 Nov 2006

Achieving Innovation in Central Government Organisations

“Much work has been done to drive forward operational innovations within the civil service. But harnessing a new culture isn’t easy. We have found many examples of new and worthwhile changes but strong barriers to innovation remain.

Senior managers are providing leadership to change, but implementing structural changes will not be achieved by dropping initiatives from on high, but rather by creating a supportive environment where all staff are encouraged to make suggestions for change.”

Published:
25 Jul 2006