Robert Halfon, the chair of the commons education select committee, is going to explain his vision for the future of further education and social justice this morning.
What is social justice?
GOV.UK has explained that social justice is how we can help people who may be disadvantaged turn their lives around. This is also about helping everyone work together to make a better society.
Robert Halfon’s vision
FE Week have highlighted a summary of his views to help the economy to grow and deliver social justice:
- Making the route from further education to higher education much clearer
Halfon would like to see students having a much clearer route into higher education which he hopes will be supported through next step loans and flexible learning.
- More support for colleges who decide to run high level and technical courses
The chair of the commons education select committee thinks that there is a strong need for intermediate skills, which can be gained from courses offered by higher education colleges. This will help students gain local knowledge, skills and experience that they may not get from a university course.
- Universities to reinvent themselves as a centre of technical excellence
Halfon would like to see the balance of salaries of graduates and non-graduates to level out – meaning that universities that currently do provide a bad return on their courses, in terms of salary level after graduating, should maybe become technical colleges instead.
- GCSE English and math resits should be scrapped
He would like to see GCSE English and Maths resits scrapped and replaced by functional skills courses. This will help students who may struggle to pass these GCSEs to gain the necessary skills they need later in life.
- Reduced levy payments for employers who take on disadvantaged apprentices
Halfon is very passionate about supporting disadvantaged apprentices and would like the government to be smarter in the way the levy is used. He thinks that employers may like this incentive to take on apprentices and pay a smaller levy payment. He would then be able to make a case for expanding the levy, which could help a lot of businesses and apprentices in the future.
- More degree apprenticeships to be used in the future by universities
There are currently more than 11,600 degree apprenticeships on offer to undergraduates – which Halfon would like half of university students doing them in the future. He is proposing that half of undergraduates should be on a degree apprenticeship and also enforce a penalty for universities that do not offer them.
If you would like more information on degree level apprenticeships, please read our previous blogs on the subject here.
We will see later this afternoon on whether Robert Halfon’s views will make an impact on further education and social justice!