Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Education and skills working party

All members of the NEC are on commissions of the National Policy Forum.

I'm on the Education and Skills working party. The meetings can be difficult to get to-its hard to justify the expense of a train trip to London for a one hour meeting. However when I can get down to them they are always interesting as we get up-to date, detailed briefings from Ministers on the latest developments in their areas.

I went to the meeting last monday, prior to Tuesdays NEC. The first discussion was led by Lord Young from the business and innovation dept. about apprenticeships followed by a presentation on free school meals from Dawn Primarolo and Dianne Johnston.

Amongst the useful things I learnt * in 1997 there were 65,000 apprenticeships-only 1/4 of

of which were completed.In 2009 there were there were 250,000 apprenticeships,70% of which were completed.

* The current percentage of eligible young people going to university is 43%.

*By the time of the election there will be 3,500 childrens centres-the tories would probably close 20% of them.

* progress is being made in the provision of free school meals. As of September there will be a trial local authority in each region offering free school meals for all primary school children and half a million primary school children whose parents get working families tax credit will also get free school meals.

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