Ashcroft Technology Academy is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted


The Ashcroft Technology Academy in south-west London has been rated as “outstanding” in a newly-published report from Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).

Furthermore, the secondary school was given the top “outstanding” assessment for all the specific areas that were scrutinised by inspectors: “Leadership and management”, “Behaviour and safety of pupils”, “Quality of teaching”, “Achievement of pupils” and “Sixth form provision”. It is rare for any school to get a full set of “outstanding” grades. (more…)

Prince William proves a big hit with charity supporters at the SkillForce gala dinner

By Lord Ashcroft

Last night I had the hugely enjoyable task of co-hosting a charity gala dinner at which HRH The Duke of Cambridge was the guest of honour.

Prince William has become a loyal supporter of SkillForce and so it was a real honour to welcome him to the event – in his role as patron of the charity – to mark our tenth anniversary. (more…)

ARU’s Veterans and Families Institute’s new scheme unveiled for “one-stop shop” on veterans’ research

By Lord Ashcroft

Anglia Ruskin University’s Veterans and Families Institute (VFI) has been awarded £160,000 to set up a comprehensive online resource for research into all aspects of military veterans and their families.

The proposed Veterans Research Hub (VRH) will bring together UK and international literature and research resources on military veterans and their families. The information will be readily accessible and will be aimed at stimulating research, influencing policy and improving the delivery of services. (more…)

By tackling diabetes, we can boost the nation’s wealth as well as people’s health

By Lord Ashcroft

If I were to ask people to list the biggest threats to our nation’s finances, I would imagine that diabetes, if it appeared at all, would be fairly close to the bottom.

We tend to think of diabetes as a relatively mild condition and so it is unlikely to be something we consider as posing a serious threat to either the health, or wealth, of the country. But while the view that diabetes is a relatively benign problem is widespread, it could not be further from the truth. (more…)

The 25th anniversary of Crimestoppers ends on a high note: our work championed by two governments

By Lord Ashcroft

I was both delighted and proud to read a joint statement from the British and Spanish Governments this week signalling that both countries are preparing to call “time” on the so-called Costa Del Crime.

James Brokenshire, the Home Office Security Minister, and Francisco Martínez Vázquez, the Spanish Security Minister, jointly declared at a meeting in London that the end of the era when British criminals on the run can find sanctuary on Spain’s southern “Costas” is now in sight.


My Conservative Conference Diary – Wednesday

By Lord Ashcroft

The leader’s speech is the main event of the conference but let’s not expect it to transform anything – for all the media attention, most people will barely register it. But it matters because it helps set the tone and priorities of our campaign, and how we are going to respond to our opponents. As I’ve said before, we need to show competence and grip. People need to know we understand their struggles, but the answer isn’t to offer a series of goodies that could have come straight from Santa. Being in optimistic mood, I have high hopes that the PM will get it right. (more…)

Crimestoppers celebrates 25 years of success – and looks to the future

By Lord Ashcroft

Last night saw a significant landmark in the history of Crimestoppers, the crime-fighting charity that I founded a quarter of a century ago.

I hosted a 25th anniversary reception for the charity at the House of Lords because I wanted to say some major “thanks yous” for what has been achieved – and to look forward to the future, including the launch of our biggest campaign to date. (more…)

Crimestoppers launches service to fight charity fraud which costs UK third sector over £1 billion per year

By Lord Ashcroft

Independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is today launching a Charity Fraud Line service to take information about charity fraud which currently defrauds registered charities in the UK of over £1 billion per year.

The Charity Fraud Line is a 24/7 service that helps to protect public donations to various charities from being misused. Its aim is to take information anonymously from those who have knowledge or well-grounded suspicion that a member of a charity, be it management, staff or volunteers, may be acting dishonestly and committing fraud.

Staff at charities who use the service can give information about those committing crimes on 08000 232 101 or to help stop the misuse of public donations. All information given remains completely anonymous. (more…)

Operation Captura achieves 50th arrest

By Lord Ashcroft

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) can confirm it has achieved its 50th arrest from its Operation Captura campaign after wanted man Andrew Moran was arrested in Spain for an aggravated robbery that took place eight years ago.

Moran, 31, was convicted in his absence for his involvement in an armed cash in transit robbery that took place on the 23rd May 2005 in Colne, Lancashire, where Royal Mail guards were threatened with a handgun, machete and a baseball bat. One of the guards was assaulted before the offenders escaped with £25,000. (more…)

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph Lord Ashcroft explains why he is pledging more than half of his money to good causes

By Lord Ashcroft

I have taken the pledge. No, I am not giving up alcohol – I enjoy the occasional glass of fine wine far too much to do that. Instead, I have signed up to The Giving Pledge, thereby making a public promise to donate more than half of my money to good causes.

On Tuesday, it will be formally announced that my name has been added to the list of other like-minded individuals – including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg – who have already put their names to the cause.