issue brief


A-Levels are properly referred to as the Advanced General Certificate of Education. They are one of the types of principal examination course studied by pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland immediately after the conclusion of compulsory education,Read More


What is abortion? Abortion describes the medical procedure for the premature termination of pregnancy. Abortion procedures change according to the gestation (stage) of the pregnancy. The gestation is measured in weeks counting from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. These methods range from the administration of drugs at early stages, through to...Read More


What are Academies? In the English education system academies are publicly-funded schools which operate independently of local authorities within a framework designed to promote innovation, raise school standards and increase levels of achievement for all children. Academies have greater autonomy than traditional state schools in areas such as delivery of the curriculum, setting staff pay...Read More

Adoption and Fostering

Adoption is the term given for the permanent transfer of legal rights in relation to the parental responsibility of a child. Foster care describes the temporary acquisition of guardianship rights in relation to a child. Foster care is often used when a child is waiting to be adopted or the courts are considering an adoption order. Read More

Air Pollution

The European Environment Agency defines air pollution as "the presence of contaminant or pollutant substances in the air at a concentration that interferes with human health or welfare, or produces other harmful environmental effects."Read More

Airport expansion – London

London airports have seen continued passenger growth since the end of 2008 and London's three largest airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) are all expected to be at capacity by 2030. This predicted growth in demand has prompted a national debate on how best to provide more capacity in the future for London and the South East.Read More

Alcohol duties

Most products containing alcohol are subject to a series of excise duties: either spirits duty, wine and made wine duty, beer duty or cider and perry duty. These duties are collected by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and are levied on manufacturers and importers.Read More

Ambulance Service

The ambulance service is the emergency response wing of the National Health Service (NHS).Read More


Angling is the capture of fish for recreational purposes. It therefore may be distinguished from commercial fishing.Read More

Animal Testing

Both live and deceased animals are used for commercial or scientific research or educational purposes in a range of capacities.Read More

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare relates to the general health and well-being of animals and covers a wide range of issues, from the care of family pets to concerns about exploitation and abuse.Read More

Aviation expansion

The aviation industry experienced massive growth in the 1980s and 1990s. The UK was one of the principal beneficiaries of this growth, and today, it has an aviation sector that is second only to that of the USA.Read More

Aviation Noise

Aviation noise is unwanted sound generated by aircraft, and it is a serious and growing problem in the UK. As airports expand and air services increase, more and more homes are exposed for large parts of the day to a persistent background noise from aircraft.Read More