Observatory is regarded more highly than ever by customers

Customer satisfaction with the West Midlands Observatory is at its highest ever level according to a recent customer survey. Satisfaction with the Observatory has been rising year on year since 2006, and this year reached its highest ever score (3.19 on a scale of 1=low to 4=high).

Rosie Paskins, Chief Executive of the Observatory, said:

With current turbulence in local and regional governance, it is easy to lose sight of the role of evidence in overcoming the deep-seated problems and challenges faced by the West Midlands.

We are encouraged by this endorsement of our work by our customers, and I urge partners to realise the increased importance of evidence based decision-making in a time of increased budgetary pressure.

The Observatory will continue to provide authoritative and high quality research to help decision makers target limited resources and do more with less.

Other highlights of the survey included the highest ever ratings for the awareness and reputation of the Observatory. And over 93% of users said they regard the Observatory’s research to be independent and objective.

The high customer rating follows on from the Observatory being recognised as an “Excellent” organisation by independent assessors Investors in Excellence earlier in the year.

Jerry Blackett, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

We are in desperate need of hard facts and a cool assessment of what the facts tell us. It is too tempting to manage by anecdote and the Observatory helps stop this. In a world of Local Enterprise Partnerships, we still need the Observatory output.

Read a summary of the Observatory’s work over 2009-10 (pdf, 750kb)

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Places Handbook Pocket guide launched to enhance policy implementation

Government Office logoThe Government Offices for the English Regions has launched the Places Handbook Pocket guide, an online set of tools, to assist Government officers (GOs) in implementing  policies effectively and efficiently across Local Authorities.

A key component of the guide is the delivery cycle, which focuses on analysis, planning, delivery and performance and how to utilise these processes efficently to achieve  targets in Local Authorities.

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2008 Black Country education barometer published

Black Country Education BarometerThe Black Country Observatory has published the Black Country Education Barometer 2008 today.

The report indicates that Black Country schools are starting to close the gap with the national average GCSE performance.

There was a 6.6% increase in the percentage of Black Country pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (compared to 4.2% nationally) and an 8% rise in pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths (compared to 2.6% nationally).

The Black Country must grow by 9.2% each year to reach the national average (in GCSE inc. Eng & Maths) by 2011.

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