HM paves the way for loan reform

May 16, 1997

A reform of the student loans system was promised this week as education led the list of legislation in the coming Parliamentary session unveiled in the Queen's Speech.

Two education bills were promised. The "new arrangements for student loans" will be included in the second, which will incorporate the Government response to the Dearing review of higher education.

Other action will include a reform of the teaching profession, including mandatory qualifications for headteachers, the introduction of a General Teaching Council and a right to study for young employees.

The Queen said: "The education of young people will be my Government's first priority. They will work to raise standards in schools, colleges and universities and to promote lifelong learning at the workplace."

Other promises include "early steps to implement a welfare to work programme to tackle unemployment", a Food Standards Agency, stronger data protection controls and a white paper on freedom of information. Britain will rejoin Unesco which it left in 1985.

Interviews with ministers, page 3

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