There were no new policies for further education in today’s Queen’s speech, with ministers focusing instead on new legislation for schools and higher education.
Prince Charles delivered the speech to mark the state opening of Parliament for the first time today after the Queen pulled out due to “episodic mobility issues”, as announced by Buckingham Palace yesterday.
The speech sets out the government’s legislative agenda for the next year.
It was delivered two weeks after the skills and post-16 education bill gained royal assent, so it was unsurprising that the speech had little focus on FE.
But in the speech, Prince Charles said planned reforms to education will “help every child to fulfil their potential wherever they live, raising standards and improving the quality of schools and higher education”.
He also said her majesty’s ministers will “publish draft legislation to reform the mental health act”.
Downing Street confirmed on Sunday that a new higher education bill is to be announced this week, enabling the introduction of the lifelong loan entitlement.
The entitlement will provide people with a loan equivalent to four years of education (£37,000 in today’s fees) that they can use over their lifetime for a range of higher level courses including shorter and technical courses in universities and colleges.
A consultation for the entitlement closed on Friday.
The new schools bill is planned to boost intervention in failing academies, support more schools to join academy trusts and implement a “direct” national funding formula.