Theresa May today vows her Government will not be knocked off course by Brexit, as she pledges to press ahead with a wide-ranging agenda of domestic reforms.
Ministers are braced for a series of bruising parliamentary clashes over Brexit legislation this autumn, as well as gruelling negotiations with Brussels over the shape of an exit deal.
Writing in the Daily Mail today, the Prime Minister says Parliament faces ‘one of the most significant sessions in recent history’ as it debates the legislation needed to smooth Britain’s exit from the EU.
Theresa May today vows her Government will not be knocked off course by Brexit, as she pledges to press ahead with a wide-ranging agenda of domestic reforms
But, while pledging to make Brexit ‘a reality and a success’, she also insists that last year’s referendum result was ‘a vote for change here at home, too’. Mrs May highlights a decision to pump an extra £1.3 billion into schools in the wake of an election campaign in which parents raised concerns about a shake-up in education funding.
But she also vows to plough ahead with key reforms, including an expansion of the free schools programme and the introduction of new ‘technical-level’ qualifications, designed to put vocational training on a par with academic.
And she takes a swipe at Labour and the SNP for their stewardship of education in Wales and Scotland. Both nations have refused to adopt key Tory reforms to the national curriculum and education provision, including free schools. Both have also fallen down the international rankings for school performance.
Mrs May said: ‘More money will not be sufficient to deliver the outcomes we want on its own. It has to be accompanied by a continuing determination to improve standards and outcomes. English secondary schools are the best-performing in the UK, according to international assessments. In devolved parts of the UK, where reform has not been as rigorous, we can see the consequences in poorer outcomes for young people.’
Education Secretary Justine Greening yesterday briefed the Cabinet on new figures showing 1.8 million more children now attend good or outstanding schools than when the Tories came to power in 2010.
Ministers are braced for a series of bruising parliamentary clashes over Brexit legislation this autumn, as well as gruelling negotiations with Brussels over the shape of an exit deal
Mrs May has been forced to abandon her dream of building a new generation of grammar schools after losing her Commons majority at the election. But today she pledges to continue the free schools revolution. Some 52 new free schools will open their doors for the first time this month, taking the total to more than 500.
Mrs May notes that some free schools are producing outstanding results in the most deprived areas, and pledges to ‘build on this success and ensure there are even more good school places available’.
The Prime Minister also vows to push ahead with the introduction of new ‘T-levels’, which are designed to boost the quality and standing of vocational education for those youngsters who do not want to pursue A-levels.
Ministers are committed to passing seven major pieces of legislation on Brexit before March 2019, including the giant EU Withdrawal Bill, which begins its passage through Parliament tomorrow.
Some insiders fear Brexit will create a parliamentary log-jam that makes other reforms impossible.
But Mrs May today vows to press ahead with flagship reforms on mental health and corporate governance. And she hints at a new push on resolving the housing crisis, which is seen by many Tories as critical to rebuilding the party’s prospects with younger voters.
She says freeing up large tracts of public sector land for housing ‘will help more individuals and families own a home of their own and move up the property ladder’.
How I'll make Brexit a success for EVERYONE: Prime Minister THERESA MAY on why she is determined to deliver change that will make Britain a strong and fairer country
By Theresa May, Prime Minister for the Daily Mail
This week, schools across England return from the summer break to start a new academic year. Infants will experience their first day at school. Teenagers will make the transition to college. For all, this is a time of excitement and promise.
Parliament also returns this week. The biggest single item on our agenda is the legislation to make our withdrawal from the European Union a reality and a success. But the result of last year’s referendum represented more than just a vote to leave the EU – it was a vote for change here at home, too.
I am determined that the Government I lead will deliver that change and make Britain a stronger and fairer country as a result.
That starts with building a first-class state education system, which gives every child, regardless of