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The Blog

The state of childminding in Britain today

22 January 2024

George Cook and Ellen Pasternack The Department for Education’s (DfE) annual Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers (SCEYP) was released on 14th December 2023. Alarmingly, but unsurprisingly, the data reveal a further fall in the number of childminders, continuing the almost unbroken trend of the last decade and a half. The DfE once again… [Read More]


Effects of taxes and benefits on UK household income.

18 July 2023

Summary Daniel Lilley and Tim Knox This blog post summarises the most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on the effect of tax and benefits on households across the UK covering the period 2021/22. This ONS data provides a detailed guide to benefits and ‘benefits-in-kind’[1] received by households across all levels of income for… [Read More]


Who gets married and who doesn’t – evidence from the 2021 Census

Summary Proportion married Cohabitation Same-sex marriages Marriage and religion Marriage and ethnicity Civil partnerships Lone parenthood Rise in proportion of people never married People in England and Wales, especially young adults, have become much less likely to be married Figure 1. Figure 2. Mixed picture of divorce Figure 3. Figure 4. Over 55s Aged 40-55… [Read More]


Five million school days lost to unauthorised holiday absence

27 March 2023

The top-line national (England only) headlines are: The year to date: Total number of sessions missed from unauthorised term time holiday 2015 – 2022: By Pupil Year Group: Penalty notices Sessions possible per unauthorised holiday absence Unauthorised term time holiday absence- by total figure (top/bottom 20):     [1] Pupil absence in schools in England,… [Read More]


We need to rethink BBC impartiality in wake of Lineker debacle

24 March 2023

The recent Gary Lineker debacle has brought the issue of BBC impartiality back into the spotlight. Impartiality is vital for the BBC in order for it to command confidence as well as justify the licence fee. Allegations of bias against it are widespread and the BBC has tacitly admitted it has a problem. Yet, some… [Read More]


Private schooling in Britain: a snapshot

24 February 2023

Summary This briefing note provides a snap-shot of Britain’s independent schools, using data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) annual census. The latest census (2022) shows that 544,316[1] pupils now attend ISC schools, up more than eight per cent in the last decade and a record high number. This is despite notable fee increases over… [Read More]


How many civil servants should it take to run the country?

1 December 2022

Last May the government, with Rishi Sunak as Chancellor, decided the civil service should be cut back to the size it was pre-Brexit.[1]  That would be a reduction of about 91,000 or £6.9 billion growing annually with salary increases not to mention (as government rarely does) the whopping unfunded consequential pensions. That remained the policy… [Read More]


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