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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:19 pm on 21st January 2021.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 1:19 pm, 21st January 2021

I know that my right hon. Friend has championed this not just in his maiden speech, but the whole time he has been in the House of Commons. He is absolutely right that it is not adequate to expect family members to be able to give young people the advice they need. I take the opportunity to pay tribute to Lord Baker of Dorking, who did so much in moving the amendment.

We need to toughen this up. I want to see parity of esteem—people looking at the choices they can take, and not just immediately moving to university. I would like UCAS to demonstrate that by having a list of college courses available to students, especially if we move to a system of post-qualification application. I think that colleges and what they can provide could be a much more powerful offer for so many young people.

I will happily take up my right hon. Friend’s thought about having a parallel system to UCAS. It may also be worth looking at the options for bringing it together and making sure that UCAS includes college courses so that students can make the very best decisions for their futures.