Start university courses in January to minimise mental health issues, says education chief

In June, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, told MPs he would like to introduce a system in which university offers are made to students after results day in the summer without the need for legislation.

The Department for Education has recently held a consultation on moving to a post-qualifications admissions system in England amid concerns about the accuracy of predicted grades.

One option being considered would see students apply in the usual way during term-time, but university offers would only be made after results day.

The other option would see students apply to university and receive offers from institutions after A-level results day in the summer – and the start of university could be pushed back to later than September or October.

Mrs Price supports a system where students would not apply to university until after they have received their results, and where they would be in contact with the school during the application process.

Mrs Price, who is calling for university to start in January rather than the autumn, said: “I do think it’d be a very good opportunity for meaningful work experience for students which can be related to what their university degree is going to be, or their apprenticeship if that is the route they decide to go down.”

She added: “I think there’s quite a lot of community work actually that young people would really benefit from getting involved in and that also really helps with mental health issues as well.

“So I think if we could look at it nationally, and with imagination, I think there’s an awful lot we could do that would be really beneficial.”

Janelle B. Smith

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