4th January 2023

EPI comments on the Prime Minister’s January 2023 speech

Today, 4th January 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out his vision for the coming year, including his aspirations for education.

Responding to the speech, Rt Hon. David Laws, Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute said: 

“It is very disappointing that education did not feature as one of the Prime Minister’s five key policy priorities for the year ahead. Better education is central to improving both life chances and the UK’s productivity rates. There is a huge job to do to ensure that students recover their learning after the adverse impacts of the Covid crisis – particularly for poorer pupils. However, the only new education policy in this speech was the aspiration about extending maths to all pupils in the 16-18 phase. While there is a good case for more maths education in sixth forms and colleges, it will take many years to recruit the necessary teachers. The government will also need to think through what this means for the 30% of pupils who currently fail to achieve the accepted “pass” level in GCSE maths. There was no detail on this key issue in the PM’s speech. It is likely to take 5 to 10 years to make a reality of the maths commitment, but there are urgent education issues which need addressing now.”