Tag Archives: graham allen

The Independent View: Slashing early years spending contradicts the desire to improve social mobility

In its Social Mobility strategy launched last April, the government made clear the dual priorities shaping its agenda:

“Tackling the financial deficit is the Coalition’s most immediate task. But tackling the opportunity deficit – creating an open, socially mobile society – is our guiding purpose.”

These are strong words indeed, marking an unequivocal commitment to improving the life chances of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. At a very minimum, they indicate a clear intention to manage the necessary public spending cuts in a way that recognises this laudable goal.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Early years intervention is a smart move

It’s unusual for my morning radio alarm to bring me to wakefulness quite so abruptly as it did today with the coverage of MP Graham Allen’s report on giving disadvantaged children the best start in life. Something so important being given leading coverage is good news.

Although it probably isn’t news to most working the sector, nor many Liberal Democrats I suspect, it is very welcome that high-profile, cross party attention is now being given to idea that early intervention to improve social and emotional development will yield great dividends for
the child and society later in its life.

The report …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Fixed-term Parliaments: better by standing orders?

Last week Malcolm Jack, the Clerk of the House of Commons, got a little flurry of media coverage for his evidence before a Parliamentary committee considering the proposed legislation for fixed-term Parliaments. “Parts of the government’s plans to bring in fixed-term parliaments are vulnerable to legal challenge” was how the BBC reported it.

It is understandable why that got the headlines, but lurking in the detail are important questions about how Parliament operates and whether its administration is competent. Jack’s evidence, and concerns about the legislation, really fall into three parts.

First, as might be expected from an official whose …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments
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    "will you explain that this approach means that we won’t be able to infiltrate terrorist organsations and that puts an added risk on them and...
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    "If Mr Clegg resigns tomorrow morning, we will be faced with a leadership election dragging out through January and February, eating up valuable campaigning time."...
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    Clutching at straws a bit. In some cases like Dennis Skinner, Charles Kennedy, Ken Clark and a few others perhaps there is a local following....
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    Tony, the main players in this, Laws, Alexander and Clegg do understand the different ways of defining the deficit, and when some of them and...
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    @Richard Dean Retrain to do what though? Some estimates claim that upto 45% of workers will lose their jobs to automation in the next 20...
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    I know three people who have switched to e-cigs from being heavy smokers. None still smoke. Small sample but 100% success. I am one if...