Updated 25.05.21: The original version of this article mentioned profits soaring for certification bodies like AQA. This was an error. Unlike Pearson, AQA is a not-for-profit organisation.
Join us for this week’s episode of the Bylines Network podcast, as Alex and Jules discuss the Queen’s speech. Although the speech itself happened at the state opening of parliament two weeks ago, the legislation announced in it was debated afterwards. The final vote on the speech’s content was held last Wednesday.
Listen as we take a broad look at what bills have been announced, and what they indicate about the government’s plan for the country over the next few years. Then we dive deep into some of the legislation in the Queen’s speech regarding:
- The ‘electoral integrity bill’: why is the government planning on introducing voter ID? What have trials of these plans done in the past? What will be the impact of voter ID on our democracy?
- Election: how bold is Gavin Williamson’s new skills plan? What does the new ‘education (free speech) bill’ mean for how universities and students unions are run?
- LGBTQ+ conversion therapy: will a ban on these practices be achieved in this parliament? What’s stopping a ban being put in place now?
Article of the week: Brian McHugh
In our ‘article of the week’ section, we speak with Brian McHugh, who wrote on the exam arrangements for GCSE and A-Level students this year in Yorkshire Bylines. After a year of schooling in a pandemic, both teachers and students have felt the toll. However, neither the government nor exam providers are doing much to help schools, as profits soar for certification bodies like Pearson.
Finally, Alex and Jules touch on some topics that they don’t feel are being covered enough in the news: the protests in Colombia, and plans to privatise Channel 4. If you want to read more about these, be sure to check out:
- Coverage of the protests in Colombia by the BBC and Guardian
- More on Channel 4’s privatisation in the Guardian
Thank you to Brian for appearing on this episode of the podcast. You can read his article here and follow him on Twitter @BrianMcHugh2011.
Catch the podcast episode here – and please do leave a review and recommend it to friends and family.
Next week, we’ll be turning our eyes southwards, to look at the potential of political realignment in the leafy shires. We’ll be announcing our guests for that week on social media, so follow us: @BylinesPod on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!