Iain Mansfield

Iain Mansfield
Iain Mansfield is Director of Research and Head of Education and Science at Policy Exchange. He is a former Special Adviser to three Education Secretaries. Prior to that he held a variety of senior positions in the private and public sector, including as a Senior Civil Servant at the Department for Education, as Director of UK Trade and Investment, The Philippines in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as Head of Public Sector at the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants. He has served as a University Governor and as a Director of a British Chamber of Commerce.

Related Publications

One size fits all

Download Publication Online Reader The first detailed study of new plans for “Fair Pay Agreements”- published by Policy Exchange today – finds that the policy could cost taxpayers £4.2bn per year in social care alone, £21bn over a parliament, while failing to improve many beneficiaries’ living standards.  The plans, part of Labour’s New Deal for Working People, have been little noticed so far but are potentially among the New Deal’s […]


Download Publication Online Reader A range of factors have been suggested as catalysing the decline in the mental health of children and young people in recent years.  Perhaps the most significant hypothesis is the link between smartphone ownership, social media use and a greater prevalence of mental and behavioural disorders amongst children and young people. A major Policy Exchange study – backed by leading psychologist and bestselling author, Professor Jonathan […]

Schools out?

  Download Publication   Online Reader Schools out? Selected documents and analysis of the current school strikes This report serves as the first substantive analysis of the school strikes demanding a ceasefire in the Israel/Palestinian conflict, which spread across the country during November 2023. The strikes pose a challenge to the education system in three areas – participation in them is an unauthorised absence, in a period when school attendance […]

What do we want from the King’s Speech?

  Download Publication   Online Reader What do we want from the King’s Speech?’ sets out an ambitious programme of 14 new laws that the Government should announce in the King’s Speech – for what will be the last Parliamentary Session before the general election. Proposals put forward by Policy Exchange include: Regaining the initiative on housing, with bold plans to speed up the planning process, abolish leasehold and place […]

Delivering the Atlantic Declaration

Download Publication Online Reader The Atlantic Declaration reflects the continuing evolution of America and Great Britain’s Special Relationship, reaffirming the importance of their commercial and political ties at a period of tremendous change for the global economic order. Delivering the Atlantic Declaration, the second report in Policy Exchange’s new programme, Industrial Policy in an Age of Global Economic Uncertainty, addresses the agreement as an opportunity to reconcile the United Kingdom’s […]

Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy

Download Publication Online Reader While the Apprenticeship Levy has many strengths, the system is not currently delivering the number of high quality apprenticeships that our country needs – with young people, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and SMEs being hit the hardest. In a report with cross-party backing – including from three former Education Secretaries, business groups and the Association of Colleges – we set out a series of reforms in […]

The People’s Priorities

Download Publication Download Polling Exclusive end of year for Policy Exchange reveals the public’s priorities for the Government in 2023. This report presents the issues the public think are top priority for the Government – and, conversely, which are low priority, or that they oppose. We consider how these vary across differentdemographic groups and also look at areas where the public would be prepared to make savings in public spending. […]

Double Vision

  Download Publication   Online Reader The case for training more doctors is moral and economic. There are global shortages of medical staff, and a consensus it would be unsustainable and unethical to continue to rely on the recruitment doctors from developing countries. At the same time, investing in our domestic pipeline makes sense: thousands of talented students are rejected from medical schools each year and last year, more people […]

Balancing the Books

  Download Publication   Online Reader In a new, wide-ranging, paper, Policy Exchange makes the case that Government should adopt a three-part approach to restoring the public finances: saving up to £25bn annually. This should involve a significant retrenchment on the energy plan, including a new windfall tax; efficiency savings in public spending; and radical supply-side measures to stimulate growth, including in housing and childcare. This must be embedded within […]

The Watchmen Revisited

In 2014 Policy Exchange published the seminal report Watching the Watchmen: The future of school inspections in England. While Ofsted today is a much stronger, higher performing and robust organisation than it was in 2014, there is no public body so perfect that it cannot benefit from external scrutiny.

Universities at the Crossroads

Universities in the UK are not yet in crisis - but they could be if they continue down their current path. In this report, based on over 50 interviews with vice-chancellors, chairs of council and other senior leaders, we set out the steps that university leaders must take if they are to put their institutions on a robust footing and regain the trust of the nation.

Visions of ARPA

A UK Advanced Research Projects Agency could have a transformative impact on technological innovation in the UK – but the Government must embrace failure if it is to be a success. Learning lessons from the US, ministers must tear up the rule book of research funding bureaucracy and recognise that the majority of projects will not achieve their objectives, but that those that do will be will be transformational. The key to success will be allowing empowered and highly expert project managers to drive forward projects and allocate funding to the best people and projects wherever they can be found.

Whitehall Reimagined

The Government should use the opportunity of the stability created by the election result to reform the civil service to make it more democratically accountable and better able to deliver on the mandate of the government of the day. Better decision making, streamlined processes and improved accountability will lead to improved policy making and legislation, more effective delivery and improved public services, benefiting every part of the UK.

Related Blogs

Remembering Lord Darling

With Lord Darling’s passing this week, the country has lost a great public servant. As the occupant of Number 11 between 2007 and 2010, Lord Darling was Chancellor during the most acute financial crisis that the United Kingdom had confronted in a century. His response to that event won him the respect and esteem of people of all political creeds. His legacy has shaped the environment for every Chancellor since. […]

Do Keir Starmer's five missions stack up?

This week Keir Starmer announced ‘five bold missions for a better mission’. The missions themselves – centred on growth, clean energy, the NHS, crime and education – are hard to disagree with, but what is unexpectedly impressive is the detail which Labour has devoted to considering how to actually deliver these more effectively. The real meat of Labour’s document comes not in the missions, but in the section modestly titled […]

The Census and Modern Britain

Much of the data from the new census release on ethnicity was already widely expected and foreseen in the Policy Exchange report Whatever Happened to Integration? from March this year.  However, our report may have somewhat underestimated the scale of the change, with the white British decline slightly greater than expected while growth in the South Asian population accelerated a little and the black populations grew at a constant rate. The share of the population of England […]

It’s Time to Get Serious About Rebalancing Post-18 Education

Today is the final deadline for university applications via UCAS. If previous years are anything to go by, over half a million hopeful applicants will have gone through the process of filling in their forms, making choices, completing personal statements in the hope of going on to an educational experience that will transform their lives.

First Fruits of Education Reform

The UK should feel deservedly pleased with the results of this week’s PISA rankings. Since the last rankings three years ago, it has risen from 22nd to 14th in reading, from 15th to 14th in science and from 27th to 18th in maths. The last is a particular achievement, with the UK improving nine score points over the last three years, one of only a handful of countries to secure a statistically significant increase. The gender gap and rich-poor attainment gap in the UK is also narrower in both cases than the OECD average.

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