Signing off…

So, it’s official. I’m going to be a maths teacher. Training on the job through the wonderful Lucy Kellaway’s new scheme called Now Teach, in partnership with Ark.

I start in September, in the academy down the road and will be part of the first cohort of Now Teachers. Summer will be spent on an intensive course. (Think of me when you are on the beach….)

Why? Now that the children are a bit older I don’t need to mumtrepreneur any more, so I thought I should do something useful. And, as someone once said, education, education, education…

So I’m signing off from public life for now. It’s been fun. Adieu.

Productivity is a low pay issue too

When politicians talk about the need to raise economic productivity, its often in the context of infrastructure investment and boosting high productivity sectors (finance, engineering, biotech etc). However our low pay sectors are so large that productivity improvements there could not only have macroeconomic consequences but do a lot for other policy objectives such as poverty alleviation. I’m delighted that my recent research report on these issues for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is picked up in today’s Guardian.

Class action: where are the divisions in the British class system today?

I wrote a piece for Progress magazine that attempts to answer the question – if he were writing today, what would Tony Crosland pick out as the determinants of class in British society? It draws on some great work by the LSE and also an analysis we did on the UK’s wealth distribution recently. Once we understand how society is structured, we can consider the policy implications.  Here’s the link.

What is going on in the UK economy? An interpretation of the economic data over the summer

Triumph or disaster? In terms of the UK economy, it could be either depending on who you believe and what newspapers you read. Here’s a round-up of the data so far, as of the second week in September. But of course everything could change in the weeks and months ahead. But if the government manages to set out a clear path and provide some certainty at least as to what is known and what is unknown, that will help everyone. Read more here

One uncertainty swapped for another – UK economy update

In the run up to the referendum on 23rd June, business confidence fell a little compared to the previous two years as decision-makers felt a sense of unease simply due to the uncertainty that came from such a large economic policy decision looming on the horizon. Immediately following the result the economy skipped a beat: the survey evidence in July was pretty dire. However the August confidence data is not dissimilar to the pre-referendum levels. Businesses have basically swapped the uncertainty they felt around the referendum result for the uncertainty as to what it means. Read more