LINSTOCK’S FRIDAY TAKEAWAY – 16 DECEMBER 2016

“People born in the 2000s have been found to smoke and drink much less than people born before then, according to an annual survey of health trends.”

In the News

Good Week: Disadvantaged Students
The University of Bristol will make offers up to two grades lower than the standard entry requirements to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in a new social mobility scheme launched by Education Secretary Justine Greening. This comes as a UCAS survey shows that there is a record gap between rich and poor students who go to university. The University of Bristol’s Vice Chancellor, Hugh Brady, said: “We want to recruit the most able students, regardless of their background. These are bold measures designed to address a problem that is seen across the education sector.”

Bad Week: School League Tables
Primary school head teachers are urging parents to ignore the latest school league tables when considering schools for their children. The ranking of schools is based on Sats tests which underwent major change this year and left only 53% of students passing the tests, a decline from 2015’s 80% pass-rate. General secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers Russell Hobby said the scale of the changes meant comparisons could not be drawn on previous years’ results. He went on to say “The pass mark for the test was set at a ridiculously high level. We have just failed half the children in the country and yet Ofsted is saying nearly 90% of schools are good or outstanding.”

Good Week: Millenials’ Health
People born in the 2000s have been found to smoke and drink much less than people born before then, according to an annual survey of health trends. Fewer than 5% of children aged eight to 15 have smoked, down 75% since 2003, while 17% said they had never drunk alcohol, a fall of two-thirds. This change follows a cultural shift in the perception of smoking and drinking as well as tighter restrictions on tobacco and alcohol sales, the ban of smoking inside, and the introduction of stricter ID requirements for entry into bars and clubs.

Bad Week: Yahoo
Yahoo has come under serious criticism from cyber security experts after it disclosed on Wednesday that they had been subject to a cyber-attack in 2013 in which more than one billion user accounts were compromised, making it the largest data security breach in history. This followed Yahoo’s September disclosure that 500,000 of its user accounts had been hacked. Senator Mark Warner, who will become the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee next year, described the hacks as “deeply troubling”. He went on to say: “I plan to press the company on why its cyber defences have been so weak as to have compromised over a billion users.”

Linstock News
We attended a PRCA event with Robin Pagnamenta, deputy business editor at The Times (formerly energy editor) entitled “Will Brexit take the power out of UK energy?” He said that because we are so integrated with Europe, he’s sceptical that Brexit provides an opportunity to reassess or consolidate our policy; the challenge is rather that it’ll create more confusion and fear.

Client News
Baringa Partners responded to the closure of 200 HSBC branches in the Global Banking and Finance Review and Fintech Finance, stating that the banking industry could learn from the telecoms sector in its approach to product sales to reduce such closures.