Education select committee 'to prioritise social justice and productivity'

By Neil Puffett

| 14 September 2017

An influential group of MPs that probes government policy on children and young people will focus on the issues of social justice and productivity over the term of the current parliament, it has been announced.

Robert Halfon became chair of the education select committee following June's general election. Picture: Crown Copyright

The education select committee met for the first time this week and agreed its initial programme of work for the new parliament and said it will hold early hearings with Education Secretary Justine Greening, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman, and Ofqual's chief regulator Sally Collier once Parliament returns from the party conferences in October.

The committee agreed to conclude the previous education committee's inquiry into fostering, which was put on hold due to June's snap general election. It said it will also look to follow up the previous committee's work by carefully considering the government's responses to previous inquiries. Details of new inquiries will be announced in the coming weeks.

Robert Halfon, chair of the committee, said: "Social justice and productivity will be at the heart of our work on the education committee over this parliament.

"How our education system helps to improve young people's lives and puts them on the ladder of opportunity will be placed front and centre of our programme of work.

"We have agreed to look carefully at a number of subjects spanning higher education and value for money, the quality of apprenticeships training and sub-contractors, public examinations and the life chances of children excluded from school.

"I'm pleased we will have an early opportunity to hear from the Secretary of State on the work of the department, including on school funding, this year's changes to GCSEs and the implementation of the 30 hours entitlement to free childcare for three- and four-year-olds.

"I am particularly keen to question the Secretary of State on what the government is doing to improve the educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds."

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