January’s L&D blog

Welcome to the January edition of the CLoG Learning and Development blog, and Happy New Year!

2018 will be an excellent year.

I have nothing overly substantial to back up my claim but it is the beginning of the New Year, which is always a good time to go forward with optimism. It is also the day after a Cabinet reshuffle that will give half this unit’s employees a slightly longer email signature, and, more importantly, 2018 marks the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the law that first gave women the right to vote in the UK.  It is worth noting that this only applied to women aged over 30 who met a property qualification, and it wasn’t until 1928 that all women had the same voting rights as men.

This milestone will be marked through a range of events, in parliament and elsewhere…shout out to Ben Pledger for telling me about Celebrity Big Brother marking the centenary  with a women-only house this year.

The below photos and links offer an interesting (I hope) look at some of the key figures in the fight for gaining women’s right to vote, and highlight some of the ways that the centenary is being marked.

In this edition…

  1. CLoG Activities
  2. DCLG and BEIS
  3. Beyond CLoG
  4. Events marking 100 years of votes for women
  5. News and Reviews


Suffragette procession 1911, image from the Museum of London

CLoG Activities

Majeed is running a L&D session called Economical with the truth: a novice’s perspective on public policy economics’ – informal teach-in. This is aimed at those who want to get a taster of a few interesting core concepts and discuss how they affect our thinking and policymaking. Sign up here!

05 February 2018 12:30-14:00

Keir has organised for the think tank Reform to come to 2MS and give a presentation concerning one of their latest reports: ‘Vive La Devolution- devolved public services commissioning’. The report can be found here- http://www.reform.uk/publication/vive-la-devolution-devolved-public-services-commissioning/

06 February 2018 12:00-13:00


Throughout 2018, Parliament will be holding a major exhibition as well as education programmes, events, workshops, talks and tours. To keep up-to-date, follow the hashtag #Vote100 on Twitter.


January happiness calendar from the DCLG Health and Wellbeing Network

Policy Tutorial TED Talk – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 11 January 2018 – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Come and listen to a short TED talk and then discuss with colleagues the implications of this for us as policy makers.

Introduction to Project Planning – a Core Curriculum event

Thursday 11 January 2018 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This course will help you understand how to effectively plan a project and some of the main reasons why projects fail.

Communicating and negotiating Policy with Influence – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 15 January 2018 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Lecture Room 2a, South Quay Building, 189 Marsh Wall London, E14 9SH United Kingdom

This topic provides a practical and interactive approach to using influence when consulting with stakeholders and provides opportunities to practice negotiation skills within a workshop environment.

Public speaking: practical tips for improving your performance – Dr Anabel Inge (LGF, author and former academic) – A Core Curriculum Event

Wednesday 17 January 2018 – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Engagement and Consultation – a Core Curriculum session

Friday 19 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Book your place now to learn about effective stakeholder engagement and the principles behind a good consultation!

Career Conversations Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 22 January 2018 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Personal Effectiveness Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 22 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

We are often so caught up in the battle of doing our day-to-day work that we don’t take the time to think about what we are learning as we go along.

An introduction to speech writing – A Core Curriculum Event

Tuesday 23 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Drafting for Ministers – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 25 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Book a place today to help you improve your drafting skills. One of the greatest skills a Civil Servant can have is to ensure you get your message across – and enable your Minister to do the same.


Suffragist and educational reformer Dame Millicent Fawcett addressing a meeting in Hyde Park – circa 1913 – as president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Millicent Fawcett, who formed the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897 and spent decades advocating for equal rights including voting rights, is to become the first woman with a statue in London’s Parliament Square.

Quality of Evidence, Uncertainty and Risk – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 29 January 2018 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Room 1.19/1.26, 15 Canada Square Canary Wharf, London, E14 5GL United Kingdom

Working with the Executive Team – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 29 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Introduction to Excel – a Core Curriculum event

Wednesday 31 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Introduction to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman – a Core Curriculum event

Wednesday 31 January 2018 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, will give an introduction to the Ombudsman’s work and answer questions.

Policy Tutorial TED Talk – A Core Curriculum Event

Tuesday 6 February 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 1) – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 8 February 2018 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Mental Health Awareness Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Tuesday 13 February 2018 – 9:00 am – 10:00 am


Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the British suffragette movement, addressing a meeting in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1908.

Born out of the suffragist movement, came the suffragettes led by Emmeline Pankhurst.

Their name was courtesy of the Daily Mail newspaper, which coined the term “suffragette” as a derogatory label for the more radical and militant members of the women’s suffrage movement.




Setting Expectations and Empowering Teams

11 January, 2018 10:00 am

A highly recommended Mind Gym workout suitable for all managers, and especially helpful in the early part of the performance year.

Setting Expectations and Empowering

17 January, 2018 10:00 am

The 90 minute session (also known as Held to Account) will show you how to help your team take ownership for their best performance so you can watch them deliver without the fear of it all going wrong.

Coaching Skills for Managers

17 January, 2018 9:30 am

During this 3 hour workshop, various coaching scenarios will be played out and you’ll learn to differentiate between when it’s appropriate to coach ‘on the go’ and when coaching should take place behind closed doors.


In the February issue of Vogue, Eva Wiseman meets seven influential females fighting to empower women in the battle for equality that rages on.

Politicians Stella Creasy and Sophie Walker join artist Gillian Wearing, gal-dem founder Liv Little, trans awareness campaigner and journalist Paris Lees, blogger Dina Torkia and writer Reni Eddo-Lodge for a unique portrait by Julia Hetta and a Vogue video in which they explain what equality means to them, the changes that would improve the lives of women and what the next hundred years will hold.

International Careers Panel

17 January, 2018 1:30 pm

Hear from three BEIS senior civil servants about their experiences of working internationally. For anyone with an interest in getting into international work, or developing an existing international career.

Talk by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP

19 January, 2018 11:00 am

Come and hear the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow MP, give a fascinating insight into his and Parliament’s role in scrutinising the work of BEIS.

Analyse This! 2018

22 January, 2018 10:00 am

Analyse This!, an annual series of analytical presentations for non-analysts, is running from 22nd Jan to 2nd February. This year there is more variety than ever with 4 brilliant keynote speeches and 20 bitesize sessions, covering introductions of analytical methods to cutting-edge insights that can increase the effectiveness of BEIS policymaking

Age Diversity Group with Alex Chisholm

23 January, 2018 12:30 pm

Age Diversity Group with our invited guest: Alex Chisholm, BEIS Permanent Secretary


The Royal Mint will make new coins this year celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and 100 years since some women were given the right to vote.

Beyond CLoG

WIG Events

A fuller event list can be found here.

Philip Stephens, Chief Political Commentator, Financial Times

Tuesday 16 January 2018, 08:00 – 10:00

Enhancing Personal Impact & Presence

Thursday 18 January 2018, 09:00 – 16:30

Gareth Davies, Director General, Business and Science, BEIS

Wednesday 07 February 2018, 08:00 – 10:00

Civil Service College

For January and February 2018, you could learn the tools to ‘Speechwriting’; kick-start your knowledge with  ‘Introduction to Management’ ; learn how to balance your ‘Work Life Effectiveness’ and much more.

Centre for Cities

Cities Outlook 2018 Launch

Date: 29 January 2018, 12.30 Location: City Hall, London


Stars of the 2015 film ‘Suffragette’

100 Years of Votes for Women – events

100 Years of Votes for Women: an LSE Law celebration – with Shami Chakrabarti

Tuesday 06 February 2018 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes

Monday 12 February 2018 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Events at the British Library

Events at the Museum of London


Alice Hawkins will have a statue of her unveiled in February 2018 in Leicester. Born in 1863, Alice lived most of her life in Leicester. A mother of six and shoe machinist by trade, Alice was determined to have an equal say in the democracy of the day and was imprisoned five times in all in her struggle. Read more here.

News and Reviews


What’s in a Name – The Register of Local Authority Names

GRaD’s Mark Coram explains his role as the Custodian of the Register of Local Authority Names in England.

What register I hear you cry? Well let me explain. The Government Digital Service (GDS) two years ago started a project to create databases of information. The databases are of use to anyone looking for a specific topic and are designed to assist the public in getting the correct information. The first one they picked was countries of the world and for reasons only they can tell you the second one was a register of the names of local authorities in England.

Every register has what is called a Custodian – and for this register it’s me. I became custodian in August last year. Every register is looked after by the most appropriate Government Department, hence this register is looked after by us. In fact I look after two registers as I’m also responsible for the list of local authority types.

The Register gives you the legal name and the name by which the Council is more commonly known. It also gives you the date the Council came into being and when it (where applicable) ceased.

Every decision as to what goes on the register is the responsibility of the custodian and the final decision rests with them, so if any of the mergers or unitary proposals being worked up at present go through, this will be my first major decision. I’m also going to be adding the Combined Authorities shortly. And yes there is a code that fits – SRA (Strategic Regional Authority) which currently has just one occupant – the GLA.

I’ve visited the GDS office in Whitechapel twice now – and let me say it is the most non Civil Service looking office in the land. There are no fixed computers, no printing is allowed and it has the look and feel of a tech startup more than a Government Department. Sometime in the New Year one or two of the team will be shadowing me for the day as most of them have never done a policy job. Should CLOG wish to assist with me with this please let me know.

To see the registers see the links below – I’m happy to answer any questions about the work. If you want to know more about the GDS visit their blog at www.gds.blog.gov.uk/about/ .





Elaine Burton MP, 2 October 1958. Parliamentary Archives, PUD/14/35.

Elaine Burton was the first woman to chair a sub-committee

EMSEM Team Away Day – November 2017

We started our day with an unexpected commission that had to be dealt with urgently – pushing start back 20 minutes.

Enjoyed delightful breakfast provided by Justin (drinks by the University), followed by presentation how to give and receive feedback on by Louise but performed by Justin.

Another quick commission handled efficiently by Charlotte and Helen and we were back on track.

We then completed a short session on feedback – it was a good opportunity to bounce ideas on how to give helpful and productive feedback (based on difficult conversations around annual conversation) and to think about how to get negative messages across in constructive way.

1 - 4 photos

Mark Pullen led us on a session – What kind of team are we…and what kind of team do we need to be?

During the session reflected on our strengths as individuals and how we can make these work for us as a team. We worked with a psychological-type tool called “Lumina”.

Here’s some feedback Mark gave us on the session and about the team –

  • You have a spread of strengths.  You appear self-aware how these strengths differ between you and can see how these play out across the roles and tasks that you fulfil.
  • Remember that all strengths should be seen as equal, and that it’s likely that you can each adopt those behaviours, although how comfortable you are and the personal energy it takes can vary.
  • For many of you, you felt that the strength that you each personally felt most comfortable with was amongst the “empowering” green behaviours and the “conscientious” blue. 
  • Whilst there was at least one of you most comfortable in the “commanding” red segment, there are several of you who see this as a second preference area.
  • “Inspiring yellow” might be a potential gap? And, even when someone “steps” into this space, there is a risk that the amount of blue could mean that you keep to known and safe processes, and miss more innovative options.  We wondered how that might impact on how you advise LEPS and respond when the latest request from the centre arrives pressing for the next golden egg solution to drive and invigorate the local economy.
  • Overall you shared a view that the spread of your strengths was a good match with the behaviours and skills demanded by your role.
  • Towards the end of the session, I challenged you to be alert to risk that because you are accommodating and will want to always provide constructive and positive responses.

There is a free app called Lumina Splash which gives you an idea of which colour you are most aligned after doing a short quiz (it takes less than a minute!).

Everyone enjoyed the session and felt that we could take it forward to think about how we can utilise our strengths more effectively as a team.

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We were invited to take part in a networking lunch with a collection of VIPs and entrepreneurs who were based at the innovation centre.

We heard from Professor Simon Mosey and Steve Chapman who outlined some of the universities many projects and how they hoped to solve world problems with entrepreneurial ideas and technology.

During the lunch the team spent time talking to as many of the attendees – here are a few of their stories:-

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Justin – I met with Lili Zhu, who runs a specialist careers advice service for overseas students – targeted at visiting Chinese students in particular, but looking to expand into other groups and also into services at other unis (already working with NTU to provide a more coherent Nottingham offer). See www.miiito.com. I know others spoke with Lili too – she was a skilled networker!

Mike – I spoke to a very interesting bloke who’s developing a new app called Yoop – which will use AI to deliver a bespoke newsfeed to users.  That doesn’t sound very ground breaking, but the exciting thing was the way in which it would allow you to screen ‘fake’ content and selectively filter how ‘challenging’ you wanted the content to be to your world view!

Jacqui – I spoke to Steve Upcraft whose initial revenue project “Ingenuity” I assessed early on in the 2007-13 ERDF programme and on which subsequent continuation projects “Ingenuity Plus” and “Enabling Innovation” built upon. That was quite exciting as The Ingenuity Lab is marketed as an unlimited fountain and inspiration and motivation for young entrepreneurs and as I worked closely with the University to get the original one approved as academics tended to use language that no one else understood.  I also spoke to Kelu Lui who founded HungryPanda an online food delivery platform which provides tailored services to Chinese students, as well as providing affordable commission rates in comparison to their competitors UberEats, Deliveroo and JustEat it they have offices in Manchester, Birmingham and Hangzhou, China as well as in the Ingenuity centre. HungryPanda won a £10,000 Vice Chancellor’s prize which they have used to purchase uniforms, delivery boxes and 15 electric bicycles.

4 - 3 photosUnfortunately we had to cut the networking short to dial in to a central IS telekit. All in all, everyone agreed that the day was a great success with lots of learning opportunities, both inward and outward facing.

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