• Research Briefing

    Sources of historical statistics

    Details of online sources of historical statistics across all subject areas other than the economy. These sources are either long-term time series or snapshots of a range of data from a specific point in the past.They allow comparisons between the present day and the start of data collection and any intervening period and give an understanding of patterns -have trends been smooth, random, cyclical etc? Snapshots cover a wider range of data and help us make more general comparisons between 'then' and 'now'. Most of the series go back to around the 1920s or earlier. . This note does not include links to economic data or anything to do with family history.

  • Research Briefing

    Children, Schools and Families Bill. Bill 8 2009-10.

    This Bill provides ‘guarantees’ for pupils and parents in the school system, underpinned by new Home School Agreements, and makes provision for parental satisfaction surveys. It also makes changes to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools; extends the remit of School Improvement Partners; provides greater powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State in relation to failing schools; paves the way for the introduction of School Report Cards; and makes provision to introduce a licence to practise for teachers. The Bill also seeks to implement the recommendations of several major reports. These changes affect the school curriculum; provide a registration system for home educators; and provide an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs. The Bill would also make changes to the reporting of information relating to family proceedings. Other provisions relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Youth Offending Teams, the charitable status of academies, and the fees system for the inspection of independent schools.

  • Research Briefing

    The Islamic Republic of Iran: An introduction

    This paper provides an introduction to the Islamic Republic of Iran; its politics, economy, foreign and defence policies, and nuclear programme. It examines the governmental structure of the theocratic state, analyses the key personalities and forums of decision-making and assesses Iran’s policies at home and abroad.

  • Research Briefing

    Uncertainty and risk

    This guide gives a general overview of the concepts of uncertainty and risk, highlights their connection to other aspects of statistical literacy and looks at the communication and understanding of risk.

  • Research Briefing

    Statistics Literacy guide -Basic outline of regression analysis

    Social scientists are often interested in analysing whether a relationship exists between two variables in a population. For instance, is greater corruption control associated with higher GDP per capita? Does increased per capita health expenditure lead to lower rates of infant mortality? Statistics can give us information about the strength of association, this can sometimes help in deciding if there is a causal relationship, but they are not sufficient to establish this on their own.

  • Research Briefing

    Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill: provisions for children, education and learners (Bill 55 of 2008-09)

    This paper is one of two which examine the main proposals of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill 2008-09. It deals with the provisions relating to the dissolution of the Learning and Skills Council, the transfer to local authorities of responsibility for funding 16 to 18 education and training; the education of offenders; the creation of the Young Person’s Learning Agency and the Skills Funding Agency; and the legal identity of sixth-form colleges. The paper also covers the new regulatory body for qualifications (Ofqual); and a new agency to carry out the non-regulatory functions currently performed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. The Bill seeks to strengthen the accountability of children’s services; amend intervention powers in respect of schools which are causing concern; provide for a new parental complaints service; change the school inspection arrangements; create a new negotiating body for school support staff pay and conditions; and address issues related to pupil and student behaviour. See also Research Paper 09/14.

  • Research Briefing

    Statistical Literacy Guide

    This guide is a compilation of notes on individual subjects produced by the Social & General Statistics Section of the Library. Its aim is to help MPs and their staff better understand statistics that are used in press stories, research, debates, news releases, reports, books etc.

  • Research Briefing

    Energy price rises and their impact on demand

    Social Indicators article which looks at price rises across different sectors in recent years, the impact on demand and the implications of this. This subject will be looked at in greater detail in the Library talk on 3 November: http://hcl1.hclibrary.parliament.uk/whatsnew/talks.asp#144