Latest Updates

Teachers in our schools: the extent of the religious divide revealed

10 May 2019 Nick GarbuttEducation, Equality

A major piece of research into the one profession where it is still lawful to discriminate on the grounds of religion has just been published.

A modern approach to modern slavery

10 May 2019 Ryan MillerJustice, Social Policy

Photo by Nahid Hatamiz on Unsplash

The last Stormont mandate was abandoned before it got into stride. However, it still made changes to local policy, reflected in the new Modern Slavery Strategy.

Why social mobility is going backwards

3 May 2019 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Social Policy

Improving social mobility is a central policy objective of all mainstream political parties.  

If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up

2 May 2019 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Social Policy, Equality, Health, Mental Health, Economy

Prof. Eileen Evason (centre) along with Barry McVeigh (left) and Kevin Higgins (right), both members of her team that produced the Welfare Reform mitigation report, and the then First and deputy First Ministers

The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.

The boardroom revolution is underway

26 Apr 2019 Nick GarbuttGovernance, Sector Issues

Boards in Northern Ireland are dominated by middle aged and older people. Most of them are middle class men from a managerial background.

The first major effort at citizen’s income has some surprises

24 Apr 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Social Security, Economy, Employment

Preliminary results are in from Finland’s experiment with a Universal Basic Income. The findings are mixed, interesting, and should arouse everyone’s curiosity.

Childcare in NI: parents and providers are both working too hard

12 Apr 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Education, Economy

Northern Ireland is the UK’s poor cousin when it comes to childcare. Fixes to the sector’s struggling financial structure need legislation.

Brexit and the crisis in democracy

10 Apr 2019 Nick GarbuttPolitics

Just how much has Brexit damaged peoples’ attitudes both to politicians and parliamentary democracy? We got the answer this week and it makes for uncomfortable, at times disturbing, reading.

Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit

4 Apr 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Economy, Sector Issues

What kind of world do we want? Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

The great political divide of our time – ahead of the traditional left vs right, and even existential concerns about the environment – is about globalisation vs nationalism.

Echoes from the past - the crisis that tore the Tories apart

4 Apr 2019 Nick GarbuttBrexit, Politics

Political commentators keep comparing the political chaos over Brexit to the crisis that engulfed politics when the Corn Laws were repealed. So what happened in the 1840s?  Scope finds fascinating historical resonances…

“Your head is the pinball” – but things don’t have to be like this

29 Mar 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Sector Issues, Politics

Everything is breaking. It’s easy to feel despondent but, if you want to fix anything, it’s much better to be calm, think about the good that can and is being done, and have some positivity. Scope tags along to the Imagine Festival.

Some good news, at last

29 Mar 2019 Nick GarbuttEconomy, Policy

There has been one piece of very good news for Northern Ireland in an otherwise gloomy, Brexit dominated week.

Belfast hosts a different peoples' vote

22 Mar 2019 Nick GarbuttPolitics, Sector Issues, Funding

A new democratic movement is gaining traction in Northern Ireland. From Rathlin Island to Newry and the Clogher Valley local people are deciding for themselves how money in their communities should be spent.

Back to the drawing board for sustainable transport to school

21 Mar 2019 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Education, Economy, Social Policy, Transport

Chris Hazzard MLA, then Minister for Infrastructure, with pupils from St Colmcille's Primary School in Downpatrick on Bike to School Day in June 2016

Efforts are underway to change transport habits in Northern Ireland – but they might not be working. Scope looks at the annual school transport figures.

Fighting cancer together, why we need a strategy

15 Mar 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth

The Department of Health has announced that it is to commission a new cancer strategy for Northern Ireland.

The public view of charities: could do better

14 Mar 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Fundraising

Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash

The links between trust in charities and the level of donations are not clear cut – but they are there. Fostering goodwill is vital for fundraising and generating other support.

No news is bad news - the death of the press

8 Mar 2019 Nick GarbuttMedia, Policy

Newspapers are dying. This is not just a tragedy for journalism, it is also a threat to democracy. There is a need for a public policy response before it is too late.

Employability programmes can transform lives and communities

7 Mar 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Education, Mental Health, Economy, Young People

Participants in Start360’s Switch onto Employment, at the scheme's celebration last August

The European Social Fund has committed £200m to NI for employability schemes – including Start360’s Switch onto Employment. The organisation tells Scope that ESF’s post-Brexit replacement cannot be half hearted.

The terrifying truth about climate change

1 Mar 2019 Nick GarbuttEnvironment, Climate Change

It has been one of those weeks when everyone has been talking about the weather.

The Justice Department wants your views on how best to beat internet grooming and child abuse

28 Feb 2019 Ryan MillerJustice, Education, Social Policy, Mental Health, Health

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

How justice agencies and the law tackle online child sexual exploitation is evolving. Common availability of the internet is only about 20 years old – while the reach and nature of usage has changed massively in the last decade.

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