Profit-making Free Schools: Unlocking the Potential of England's Proprietorial Schools Sector

In this groundbreaking report, James Croft argues that the crisis of school places can only be met by giving true freedom to Free Schools and allowing profit-making schools to operate within the Free Schools programme. In his study of profit-making school outcomes, he shows that schools charging fees on a par with the average state expenditure per pupil equal or exceed the performance of average independent schools. As the report shows, unlocking the power of profit within the Free Schools programme would be a revolution in schooling in England.

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The Case for Nominal GDP Targeting

The recent economic crisis has exposed important flaws with inflation targeting, particularly the form practiced by real world central banks. A nominal GDP target can address the dual concerns of macroeconomic policy – inflation and jobs – with a single policy target. Had central banks pursued nominal GDP targeting during 2008, it is quite likely that both the financial crisis and the recession would have been much milder. Nominal GDP targeting works best when “level targeting” is used, which means making up for past underor overshoots, and also if the central bank targets market expectations of nominal GDP growth.

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Seeing the Wood for the Trees

The Forestry Commission has failed in its duties, and the government is right to sell off some of its holdings. This report argues that the government could sell off 92% of the Commission's holdings without affecting the broadleaf forests that the public values for their amenity and scenery. Doing this could raise up to £4.3bn, and end the woeful mismanagement of the country's woodland that the Forestry Commission has delivered.

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Codification and Reform of the British Constitutional Arrangement

In this briefing paper, Karthik Reddy argues that the British constitutional arrangement has changed such that traditional checks and balances against governmental abuses of power have been lost, and says that a codified constitution is needed which clearly articulates the limits to parliamentary sovereignty. Reddy argues that the Prime Minister's presidential powers must be recognised and responded to by separating the executive from the legislature and making the office of Prime Minister directly electable by the British people, with parliament acting as an independent legislative balance against the executive.

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