Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

The Office of Fair Trading has launched a fact-finding study into the £450m a year school uniform market, writing to almost 10,000 state schools to find out whether they dictate the outlet from which parents must purchase uniforms. The study is in response to complaints from parents that policies restricting parents to just one retailer or manufacturer mean that prices are too high. Alternative retailers have also complained that the market is closed to them.

Academically able children who attend private schools are likely to achieve better grades and earn more than egually gifted counterparts who attend state schools, according to the latest report from the Sutton Trust, which supports projects that provide educational opportunities for young people from non-privileged backgrounds. Research conducted for the trust by the University of London Institute of Education found that only 7.6% of those who went to state schools were earning more than £70,000 a year by their 30s, compared with 18.2% of those who attended independent schools under the Assisted Places Scheme, and 28.6% who attended independent schools as full fee-payers.

Mental health patients feel excluded from the Department of Health's 'choice' agenda, research by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and the King's Fund has found. At present such patients are offered 'little or no choice' over their care or treatment, according to Choice in mental health care. But they both desire, and have the mental capacity, to be given more choice, including the options of different therapies and medication and to take up direct payments. …

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