Give school leavers an optional extra year

Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education, has written to the Secretary of State for Education asking that he sets out proposals for a "Spring Forward" year of an optional fully-funded year of education for 17 to 18-year-olds who have missed out during the pandemic.

"Unlike younger students, they do not have years ahead of them in school to gradually make up for the months of in-person teaching time they have lost during the last two academic years," the letter states. 

"So it is particularly urgent that you set out proposals to ensure they are not put at a disadvantage as they take their next steps in education, training or into the world of work.

"As students return to school from 8 March, we are asking you to make a firm offer of a “Spring Forward Year” to these students: that every 17 and 18 year old, leaving school or college this year will be entitled to an optional fully-funded year of post-16 education, if they choose it. This could be delivered in schools, colleges or universities."

The letter concludes:

"It is clear that the summer school plans you have suggested as a way for pupils to regain lost learning time, will simply not go far enough. These students have faced unprecedented levels of disruption and need far more ambitious solutions from the Government. 

"Every young person should approach the end of their time at school full of excitement for the next stage of their life. The Government owes it to those whose learning has been heavily impacted by the pandemic to ensure they still feel fully prepared for whatever this stage may hold."

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