New POSTnotes published


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has recently published the following POSTnotes.

Precision Farming

Precision farming uses technology to improve efficiency. It offers benefits for yields, profits and the environment. However, uptake by farmers has been slow. This POSTnote describes precision farming methods, adoption and factors influencing it, and future practices.

Trends in Compulsory Education

This POSTnote focuses on trends in UK compulsory education and outlines where trends differ between individual nations.

Trends in Crime and Criminal Justice

This POSTnote describes crime patterns, and highlights issues with crime measurement and data. It also identifies key developments in the criminal justice system.

Deep Sea Mining

In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth £40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.

If you wish to leave feedback on any of our POSTnotes, please complete this short survey, which will provide us with valuable feedback for future publications.

Statistics Event: 22 October


In the run up to this year’s General Election, the Royal Statistical Society’s ‘Parliament Counts’ campaign called on prospective MPs to commit to attending a workshop on statistics if successfully elected.

In addition to the session for MPs the RSS is running a dedicated session for MPs staff to which you are invited to attend.

Time:    14:00-15:00am, Thursday 22 October 2015

Place:    Room U, Portcullis House

Working with the House of Commons Library, the RSS will deliver the session, which will be an interesting and fun look at the good (and not so good!) use of statistics in public life. The workshop will support parliamentarians to use statistics more effectively in their day-to-day role, as well as providing tips on how to assess whether statistical claims really stack up. It will be entry-level, so no previous experience of statistics or maths is required.

Please do make time to attend this workshop. You can confirm your attendance by


Regional Constituency Events: Sheffield and Lisburn


The House of Commons Service regularly holds regional open days for constituency staff throughout the United Kingdom.

Lunch will be provided and this, along with the registration period, is intended as a chance to network with the House Service, other constituency office staff in your region and visit ‘stalls’ of  services.

IPSA have recognised the day as a training event and as such the costs of travel are eligible to be reclaimed through allowances in the normal way.

More information

Booking (please include name, constituency, Member, dietary requirements):

Get inspiration for your Parliament Week event


16 – 22 November 2015 | @Parliament_Week

Organisations across the country are already signing up their Parliament Week events and activities to the Parliament Week website. To help you with planning your own event, why not take a look at the programme so far and get an idea of what you could do in your own area.

To give you even more support, there are  three toolkits to help you come up with ideas for your event, to plan it, and publicise it too.

If you don’t want to organise an event but still want to participate, follow @Parliament_Week on Twitter and get involved in the conversation using #DoDemocracy.

Promote an Online Survey on Social Mobility


The House of Lords Committee on Social Mobility would like to hear from young people who have not or will not take A-Levels or go to university on what they think about the choices available at age 16.

This online survey will help the Committee to understand what is important to young people in the UK when they are looking for their first job. The Committee will use the findings from the survey to inform the a report they send to Government.

The survey is open to 14-24 year olds until 1 October 2015. It should only take a few minutes to complete.

The survey can be found here:

Help spread the word by sharing information about this survey with children and young people you know and work with.

Festival of Freedom running to 25 October


Festival of Freedoms celebrates 800 years of rights and representation through a series of more than 30 events at the Houses of Parliament and other venues around the UK this autumn.

Aligning with ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome’ banner exhibition in Westminster Hall, each event will examine major political movements and moments in the UK’s constitutional past, starting with King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215 through to devolution and Parliament in 2015.