Further Education

Part of Opposition Day — [10th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:47 pm on 18th November 2015.

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Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Education 4:47 pm, 18th November 2015

I said that I am not going to give way. The hon. Gentleman has already made one intervention, and he probably regretted that one.

We are protecting our post-16 sector, not just for today, but for years into the future. Area reviews will be driven by local leadership and will support collaboration and strengthen local partnerships, all to the benefit of the young people in these institutions. Throughout the provider base, these reviews will lead to improved engagement, with better incentives to share resources and achieve economies of scale. They will help to generate efficiency savings and put the sector on a stable financial footing for the long term. We have already begun several area reviews, and we are working closely with representatives of the sector to take them forward in a positive and collaborative way. We are grateful for the constructive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and look forward to continued close joint working as we complete all reviews by March 2017.

I am proud to defend the work of the previous Government in improving the 16-plus skills system, but now we will go even further, ignoring the siren calls and doom and gloom from the Opposition. Whereas their plans for the economy would have wrecked our education and skills system, we will make it the envy of the world. Be it academic, professional or technical education, we will make sure it gives each and every student the chance to realise their full potential and be all that they can be. Post-16 education is fundamental to our aim to govern as one nation, extending opportunity and realising the full potential of every young person. We will ensure that all young people can get the best start in life, through the opportunity that high-quality education and training provides. I therefore ask the House to reject the motion.

Several hon. Members rose