There is not long to go until the next election and much to do, but there are real wins to be found in the legislative programme.
Where there is need, front line staff like doctors and nurses are underpaid, relative to what they should receive, and where there isn’t, a whole host of people are well paid.
Our exam-focused system serves neither pupils nor employers properly. We urgently need a broader and more flexible curriculum.
George Osborne managed to deliver employment and productivity even whilst cutting spending. The Chancellor can do the same.
These may take time to bear fruit, but must reassure the markets now that the growth path in expenditure will be measurably lower. Such measures must involve doing less, as well as doing things differently.
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Modularised courses could help to prepare learners for work in growth sectors whilst reversing decline in strategic industries.
I have favoured changing from a Beveridge benefits system to a Bismarckian one where a person’s contributions history determines what they can receive.
From early years and ‘ghost children’ to skills and tuition, what ministers should tackle next.
The Chancellor should not feel constrained by the OBR’s forecasts into limiting the actions he can take.
What turns young people away from the Conservatives isn’t more education. It’s the retreat of the property-owning democracy.
Better integration with academic courses, more employer involvement, and a clearer balance between local and national oversight would all help.
Lumping more onto the UK’s tax burden – already at the highest sustained level seen in peacetime – cannot be the answer.