What we’re reading 17/11/10
Trade in your skills at a Time Bank. The government hasn’t articulated a clear role for councils in building the Big Society. The LGiU has argued that this is a missed opportunity. Here’s a neat example of what councils can do.
From pigeon to superman and back again. “Nudge” theories derived from behavioural economics have been politically popular over the last couple of years. The idea that the way in which you present choices can influence people to choose more positively (placing apples by the checkout, or requiring people to opt out of rather than into pension schemes.) David Cameron has even set up a nudge unit within Downing Street. In this post the brilliant Adam Curtis argues that this approach harks back to the behaviourism of the mid 20th century and that seeming objectivity is no substitute for political judgement.
Childcare training quango to close down. Education quangos had been barely singed in the bonfire of the quangos. But now the sword of Damocles hanging over the Children’s Workforce Development Council has dropped. It’s to be abolished with all essential functions transferred to the DfE. (Please excuse the mixed metaphors). It may, however, be replaced by the mother of all quangos if reports over the weekend about central funding of schools are right. We’ll see what the White Paper washes up.