Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Budget for education

by Mark Corney

At first glance, Budget 2012 looks like a non-event for education and skills.

Apart from piloting enterprise loans for young people and an extra £100m for science facilities, the conclusion could so easily be drawn that this is not a budget for education and skills.

But this is a budget where the story lies in the ‘big picture’ rather than specific measures.

To appreciate how important this budget is for education and skills, time has to be spent on grappling with the difference between annually managed expenditure (AME) and departmental expenditure limits (DEL). 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Budget Speech we’d like to hear

by Mark Corney

Mr Deputy Speaker, my Budget today announces far reaching reforms of our education, skills and employment systems.

I am determined to unleash the potential of our young people, prevent a lost generation of 18 to 24 year olds, transform training opportunities for adult workers and revitalise lifelong learning.

The Coalition Government is full-square behind the raising of the participation age to 18 in 2015. This will provide a step change in opportunities for all young people in England.

But by itself, the RPA will not ensure higher participation and greater achievement. We accept middle and lower income families facing cuts in real incomes and welfare benefits will find it harder to support their children to stay-on in education and training.

Monday, 12 March 2012

A New Deal for 16 and 17 Year Olds

by Mark Corney

These are hard times to increase participation in education and training by 16 and 17 year olds.

The new £42m a year programme for disengaged 16 and 17 year olds is a welcome step but well short of what is needed.

The Coalition must offer a new deal to 16 and 17 year olds in time for the start of the next academic year in September.