Headlines: April 21st, 2010

A campaign has been launched to persuade the next Government to make radical reforms to learning in Britain. The Campaign for Learning has issued a series of recommendations to be implemented over the next ten years.

The charity’s proposals include a combination of maintenance grants and loans for 18 to 24-year-olds in further education as a way of cutting youth unemployment and making education a first choice for young people who might otherwise become dependent on benefits.

In its ‘Learning for a Stronger Society’ report it calls for a system of student premiums to provide extra funding for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds throughout their educational careers. It also wants to see the interest rate on loans for full-time higher education students increased, but still kept below market rates. Money raised in this way would be used to create parity between HE students and adult FE students. The campaign also urges the continued roll-out of Children’s Centres in every community.

Tricia Hartley, the chief executive of the Campaign for Learning, said the government that emerged from the election should see learning as a solution to creating a fairer and more inclusive society, not a cost. “Learning from cradle to grave should be on the top of the new Government’s agenda. Our Learning for a Stronger Society report proposes a series of specific recommendations to be implemented over two full Parliaments,” she said.

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