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18 May 2016

What to look out for in the 2016 Queen’s Speech

This one has been written with one eye on Labour voters and the other on David Cameron's legacy. 

By Stephen Bush

This year’s Queen’s Speech is written in pencil – if the looming European referendum goes the wrong way, both David Cameron and George Osborne will be out on their ears faster than you can say “Brexit!”

So the policy programme is light and written with one eye on Labour voters – Cameron needs at least six million people who backed Ed Miliband over him to vote Remain in June –  and the other on creating a legacy for Cameron other than austerity. Here’s what to expect:

Closing the colleges of crime

The further education sector has had a battering since 2010 but the one place still reliably providing an education to people after the age of 18 are England and Wales’ prison systems. Unfortunately, they are largely providing an education in further criminality. The Queen’s Speech will pledge further action but it remains to be seen whether Michael Gove’s preferred approach – bringing the free school method to the prisons system – will work. 

Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone

Speaking of education – the government will alter the national funding formula to divert funding from schools with Labour MPs urban to rural areas. Depending on how cynical you are, this is either a much-needed injection of capital into areas struggling with rural poverty or the diversion of funding from Labour cities to Conserative shires.

The wages of HE

It’s expected that the government will look again at allowing universities with a good teaching record to raise tuition fees above the £9,000 cap.

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