The decisions they face

May 9, 1997

THES reporters examine the higher and further education issues facing the new ministers

May, 14: the official state opening of Parliament.The Queen's speech will set the legislative agenda for the year.

May: Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett is set to call a summit of "educational practitioners", to help create a new consensus between Government, schools and colleges. Teaching morale thought to be high on agenda.

May: Mr Blunkett has said that he will meet Sir Ron Dearing "soon", but that he would wait until his committee of inquiry into higher education reports in the summer before committing himself to any higher education funding policy.

May: talks are understood to be under way for setting-up a welfare to work Cabinet committee, to help implement the Department for Education and Employment's "number one priority" - getting 250,000 youngsters back to work, training or education.

June: the new department's first major policy document, a white paper, will be published.

July 1: Summer budget.

July: Sir Ron Dearing's Committee of Inquiry into higher education reports.

November: the Education Bill is to be published.

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