Independence: What does it mean for Scotland’s universities?

Education Investor, April 2014

Later this year, the people of Scotland will vote on whether the country should become an independent nation. With a proud tradition in education dating back to the 15th century, Scotland has more top universities per head of population than anywhere else in the world. But September’s historic poll raises some serious questions about whether Scotland will be able to maintain this excellence if it separates from the rest of the UK.

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Bricks and Mortarboards: The government’s new ‘no-frills’ schools

Education Investor, November 2013

The government’s standardised, ‘no frills’ schools are taking shape. Tom Ireland looks at their effect on pupils, communities and the education sector. 

It’s pretty easy to spot a school built during Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) years. This was the era of the cavernous atrium, like the Langley Academy, Berkshire, and of wildly expensive materials, like the all copper chapel of All Saints Academy, Gloucestershire. Some schools, such as Clapham Manor Primary, in South London, are quite breathtakingly beautiful.Read More »

Switching On: The failure of the world’s largest IT project, and what happens now

HealthInvestor, Jan 2012

The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) was arguably the most disastrous government procurement in living memory. It was the largest IT project the world has ever seen, and it was an abject failure. But since the £11 billion programme was abandoned last summer, those involved in healthcare IT have not just been stood in the naughty corner, thinking about what they’ve done. Work to give the NHS the world-class, state-of-the-art IT systems it deserves has moved on at a surprising pace.

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