Gavin williamson

Meet the students left in limbo by the A-level U-turn

Gavin Williamson’s A-level U-turn may have quietened the protestors but it has only added to the confusion. The education secretary’s change of heart to allow students their teacher predicted grades, rather than those generated by an algorithm, means there could be an extra 60,000 students now entitled to a place at their first-choice university – and universities could be contractually obliged to accept them. But will there be enough places? When pupils originally received their results on 13 August, universities (not assuming a government U-turn was on the cards) started sorting through the offers they had made to students, accepting and rejecting some, and offering new places to others. But only four

Target for half of kids to go to university dropped

In a sign of how worried the government is about youth unemployment, it will – quiet literally – pay firms to hire 16 to 24 year olds. But, as I say in the magazine this week, these government-funded jobs can only be a short-term fix. Any medium-term solution is going to require fixing post-16 education. A third of British graduates are in non-graduate jobs. The government subsidises this failing system The expansion of higher education has not worked out as intended; the 50 per cent target for pupils going to university has been hit, but too many students are doing courses that don’t represent value for money. Research from the

James Kirkup

Gavin Williamson is right to call out educational snobbery

Politicians give speeches all the time, but with differing levels of significance. Can you think of a genuinely important political speech given by a minister this week? Maybe your answer is Rishi Sunak’s fiscal statement, and I’m not going to suggest that speech isn’t a big deal. It is. But I am going to make the case for a speech given today by Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary. The speech was to the Social Market Foundation, the think-tank I run, so I obviously have an interest here. Nonetheless, I think Williamson’s speech deserves to be seen as a big deal. While Sunak had important things to say on important issues