Innovation Unit now
Today we are an independent, not-for-profit social enterprise and receives no grant funding. We have an experienced team of Partners and Senior Associates committed to advancing practice and improving outcomes in public services, as well as a team of core staff based out our offices in Old Street, London. We have a range of expertise and experiences – as frontline workers, leaders, consultants, researchers and policy makers.
As a social enterprise we have used our knowledge, methods and experience in delivering innovation in health and social care, in greening public services, and in education and children's services. We have worked with other social enterprises, with charities, with regional bodies, local authorities as well as on working on public service and policy reform with national and international government.
In June 2002, the Innovation Unit was established in the DfES (Department for Education and Skills) - now the DfE - as part of the measures in the White Paper 'Schools - Achieving Success' which followed the Education Act 2002. The first phase of the our work concentrated on responding to innovative ideas that were sent in to the Government, mainly by teachers and head teachers. It funded a number of these, and provided advice and practical support for many others. Alongside other innovative small-scale projects, we worked on several large-scale programmes. We also advised on The Power to Innovate (PTI), a piece of legislation which enabled schools and local authorities to apply to the Secretary of State to have regulations lifted if a strong case could be made that they were getting in the way of raising standards in education.