Making good on May’s promises should start with adult skills.

‘When the new prime minister made her first speech in Downing Street, her promise to prioritise the needs of the “just managing” and the “left behind” were almost universally welcomed.

Making good on Theresa May’s pledge won’t be easy but if there is to be any chance of progress, education has to be part of the answer. So we should now expect to see, from the new education secretary, a plan that clearly spells out how her expanded department will play its part.

Justine Greening takes over a department obsessed with chasing ever higher numbers of academies and free schools; it sometimes seems as if every penny of departmental money and every ounce of political capital has been given over to converting schools from one legal category to another. But if ministers are serious about prioritising those who have been least well served, they must do some fundamental thinking about how they spend the department’s time and money.

I’d want to see two policy areas propelled to the top of the agenda and be subject to the attention and resources currently available only to the academisation programme: these would be 14-19 vocational and technical education, and adult skills.’ - Guardian


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