Rishi Sunak announces plan to overhaul education for over 16s

The Prime Minister is axing A-levels and T-levels, in order to replace them with a new Advanced British Standard.

Students will spend longer in classrooms being taught about five subjects, compared with the current average of three.

Pupils will have to study English and maths until they are 18 as well, with “extra help for those who struggle most”.

Due to a delay, children starting primary school this year will be the first to take on the “rigorous” ABS.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan looked emotional as she watched Mr Sunak make the announcement yesterday.

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The PM told his party’s conference: “This will finally deliver on the promise of parity of esteem between academic and technical education.

“A-level students…only do three subjects compared to the seven studied by our economic competitors and our 16 to 19-year-olds spend around a third less time in the classroom than those competitors…

“Thanks to the extra teaching time we are introducing, the great breadth won’t come at the expense of depth which is such a strength of our system.”

Academic and vocational elements can be combined in the new qualification – but teaching unions questioned how the plan will be delivered.

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Mr Sunak has said teachers in “key subjects” will receive special bonuses of up to £30,000, tax-free, over the first five years of their careers to “attract and retain” staff.

The Government will also stop universities from enrolling students on courses that “do nothing for their life chances”.

The PM added: “Labour pursued the false dream of 50% of children going to university and abandoned apprenticeships.

“It led to thousands of young people being ripped off by degrees that did nothing to increase their employability or earnings potential.”

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