Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Did it work?

Tony Blair, 2006, launching the respect agenda
Launching the "respect" initiative, Tony Blair clears graffiti in Swindon in 2006

Introducing tuition fees was a highly controversial measure for Labour - both in its first form in 1998 and then the higher fees voted through in 2004.

Opponents warned that it would put off poorer students - supporters said it would provide the extra cash to create more places for a wider range of young people.

After the headlines faded away on the debate - who was proved right?

The idea of Did it Work? is to go back to big stories from recent years and to see what happened next.

Did jailing the parents of truants solve the problem? Did the pledges to tackle anti-social behaviour improve life on troubled estates? What happened to the failing schools that were going to be regenerated?

After the hype and the headlines, the political speeches and the case studies - how many of these ideas have really worked?

With the archive of online, television and radio stories we can go back to see what happened next - talking to the people who were there in our reports to see how their lives were or were not affected.

Rather than only looking at the launch of initiatives, the idea of this Did it Work project is to go back to see if anything changed.

In terms of the current government, there is now a long enough span of time to see how many of the early promises have been delivered.

Did they manage to change people's behaviour? Has life improved for the individual families who were caught up in national policy decisions?

The first of this series looked at attempts to reduce truancy, particularly in England, where this was one of the first promises of the government when it came into office in 1997.

With the future of tuition fees once again set to be debated, the second in this series looks at whether tuition fees have been a success. Did it work?

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