Education

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Academic freedom in the UK

Universities should be places of open debate, where ideas can be debated freely. Recent events, however, have revealed a chilling effect, with high profile campaigns to sack academics and fewer than four out of ten Leave-supporting students feeling able to share their views in class. Our polling reveals that a solid core of 30% of students are consistently in favour of free speech: this report presents policy recommendations for universities, for government and for civil society to ensure academic freedom can thrive in our universities.

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Latest Education Publications

The Watchmen Revisited

The Watchmen Revisited

and

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 at the Crossroads

and

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

Visions of ARPA

, and

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.

Latest Education Blogs

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

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

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.

Latest Education News

Brightest minds in education speak at Policy Exchange

Brightest minds in education speak at Policy Exchange

“It’s difficult to think of anyone other than Policy Exchange who has had such an impact on education in this country – apart from E.D. Hirsch,” said Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Education, in a vote of thanks after Professor Hirsch’s keynote speech, which argued for “a definite knowledge-based curriculum” for all children.

Schools Minster endorses Policy Exchange plan to raise standards while reducing teacher workload

Schools Minster endorses Policy Exchange plan to raise standards while reducing teacher workload

Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP has publically backed the latest education report by Policy Exchange, setting out how standards can continue to be raised in state schools. Completing the Revolution set out how using textbooks produced by respected third-parties like the British Museum can improve the quality of teaching while reducing the time teachers have to spend preparing for lessons. The idea builds upon other school reforms pioneered by Policy Exchange, including free schools and the pupil premium.

Latest Education Events


  • Thursday, 30 May, 2019
    9:00 - 10:00

“For too long, further education has been allowed to stagnate,” said the Prime Minister in a keynote speech at Policy Exchange marking the launch of the Augar Report, a review of Post-18 Education and Funding which she described as a “major landmark” for education policy. She appeared with Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, and Philip Augar, who thanked the Government for ““asking the right question” on tertiary education and commissioning his report.


  • Wednesday, 21 November, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

E. D. Hirsch (Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation and Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia) spoke at Policy Exchange on Forging A Common Language Community in Education: towards smarter, fairer and more unified countries. The event included a Vote of Thanks by Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards. Download text. About E. D. Hirsch E. D. Hirsch is (more…)


  • Thursday, 30 November, 2017
    18:00 - 19:30

A discussion of the role and importance of working teachers in the era of knowledge-based education. We will be joined by our Guest of Honour, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards—who will deliver a Keynote Address on the value and importance of textbooks in ensuring all young people receive the high-quality education they deserve.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 18 September, 2017
    18:00 - 19:30

Policy Exchange was delighted to host the launch of Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP’s new book ‘Taught Not Caught: Educating for 21st Century Character’. As Education Secretary from 2014-16, Nicky Morgan announced a GBP3.5m programme promoting classes and extra-curricular activities that build “grit” and “resilience” in a generation of schoolchildren. In her new book, she reveals why she believes that building characterful children has a positive impact on academic attainment and argues that public awareness of character education needs to be raised, so it is clear to those in the education system that this is a priority and they will support it.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 25 September, 2017
    8:30 - 9:30

Speakers: Lucy Powell MP, Former Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Dr Christopher McCormick, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, EF Education First, Sarah Cooper, Chief Executive, English UK, Iain Dale, broadcaster, publisher and commentator, John Blake, Head of Education and Social Reform, Policy Exchange

Venue:  

Address:
Labour Party Conference, Hall 7, Clyde, Brighton Hilton Metropole, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FU, United Kingdom


  • Wednesday, 13 September, 2017
    18:00 - 19:30

Education improvement is a key objective of policy makers and educationalists around the world. To address this need Tim Oates CBE, Cambridge Assessment’s Director of Assessment Research and Development, has led research into and now written A Cambridge Approach to Improving Education – using international insights to manage complexity where he sets out his findings and guiding principles for policy makers. He addressed Policy Exchange, the UK’s most influential think tank on education in the past 15 years, to outline his findings and further the debate on how best to improve education here, and around the world. His talk was followed by a response from UCL’s Dr John Jerrim.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom

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