Reports and publications

I’ve published widely on education, children and young people, family policy, and on jobs and the economy. Below you can find links to selected publications.

Sonia speaking at a Labour party conference Youth Zone event

Service Nation: Five years on
Conclusion to a collection of essays in Citizen Power, a collection of essays with a foreword by President Bill Clinton, published by City Year UK.

Building a Service Nation
Essay on national citizen service for Demos’s 20th birthday collection, July 2013

Prevention and early intervention in children’s services (NESTA 2012)
A how-to guide for local authority commissioners on commissioning more prevention-based services for children to create long-term savings for the state and better outcomes for children.

Labour’s Small Business Taskforce report (The Labour Party 2011)
I co-wrote the report of Labour’s Small Business Taskforce with the late Nigel Doughty, Co-Chair of Doughty Hanson (2011). The report recommended establishing a small business investment bank: a suite of state-backed investment products for small businesses, based the successful schemes run by the Small Business Administration in the United States and KfW in Germany.

3D Poverty (Demos 2010)
Recommended a new, multi-dimensional measure of poverty based the experiences of people who live in poverty. The project also undertook polling and workshops with members of the public to understand how people see poverty.

Ex Curricula (Demos 2010)
Looked at how schools and children’s services can do more, earlier, to prevent young people dropping out of education in their late teens. The research included workshops with young people at risk of dropping out of school. The report’s finding that one in ten five-year olds start school without the skills they need for classroom learning was covered by the Metro, the Telegraph, the BBC, the Guardian, the Financial Times, and Nursery World.

Following the report, the government announced plans to expand intensive health-visiting for first-time teenage mothers through the Family Nurse Partnership programme and to launch a new Early Intervention Foundation.

Service Nation (Demos 2009)
Set out plans for a civic service scheme – voluntary community service for young people that would replace the military service that all young people in the UK used to do. The report sets out how a youth civic service scheme could be practically implemented in order to support young people to give back to their communities, at the same time as developing the practical skills that employers are looking for today. The research included a deliberative convention with young people to get their views. The report’s findings have been used as the basis for the Cabinet Office’s plans for a ‘decade of social action‘ for young people.

Kidulthood: the experiences of pre-teen children (Action for Children 2009)
A report for a leading children’s charity on the experiences of ‘pre-teens’ – 8-12 year olds – in today’s world and how we can better protect the transition from childhood to adolescence. The report recommended banning advertising through mobile phones used by children and on websites aimed predominantly at children.

Thursday’s Child (IPPR 2008)

Those Who Can (IPPR 2008)

The Saving Gateway (IPPR 2006)
Set out an implementation plan for a new matched-savings scheme for people in low-paid work to help them build up a nest-egg they can draw upon in times of emergency. The Labour government later piloted an extended version of the scheme as recommended in the report.