Articles by Toby Blume
Toby has worked in the not for profit sector for 20 years, supporting socially excluded people to find solutions to their problems. He was formerly the chief executive of Urban Forum and also previously set up Groundswell UK.
Al-Madinah inadequacies highlight wider weaknesses
“The Ofsted report into the Al-Madinah school in Derby is damning. Extremely damning. Inspectors highlighted a catalogue of shortcomings that have resulted in the school being taken into special measures.” Toby Blume argues that the Al-Madinah school highlights the inadequacies of the current free schools process.
Should a consultant be a local government leader of tomorrow?
“So, if the local government leader of tomorrow is from the private sector that does concern me… particularly if it is indicative of an irreversible erosion of civic values at the expense of private profit.” Toby Blume is depressed that a private sector consultant has won the Local Government Leader of the Future Award.
When is a free school not a free school? When it’s a parent academy
Stephen Twigg’s speech this week was long overdue. Labour have been woefully quiet on education policy, despite Michael Gove’s high profile and contentious policy agenda. It was a first chance to hear how Labour plans to position itself on education at the next election and, though lots of questions remain, there were some interesting ideas to […]
Steps along the same path - Participatory Budgeting and Cooperative Council
Lambeth recently hosted the visit of two Participatory Budgeting experts from the US, as part of a study tour organised by Church Action on Poverty, as the culmination of their People’s Budget campaign. Josh Lerner, from the North American PB Project and Alderman Joe Moore, from Chicago met with elected members and senior officers at […]
Changing communities - reflections on catalysing community evolution
Alice Casey’s recent article on Nesta’s Systemic Innovation discussion series raises some interesting questions about the future of communities and public service reform. I like Alice’s suggestion of three promising ways that innovation is happening in practice: Structures that value collaboration, relationships that enable power sharing and internet platforms that reveal patterns, help scale and lead […]
Cooperative Councils - the blueprint for Miliband’s Labour?
“Cooperation is riding the crest of a political wave right now. So it makes sense that politicians start by practicing what they preach, by collaborating with others outside their parties.” Toby Blume considers “the quiet revolution taking place in local government” that Whitehall could also learn much from.