Robert Halfon’s quaint notion that vocational training should pass the “dinner-party test” is an indicator of how shallow his supposed blue-collar Conservatism is (‘The Tory party should change its name to the Workers’ party. I am 100% serious’, 17 April). How many people bringing children up in poverty are going to dinner parties where they would be looked down on because their child is an apprentice? His concern seems to lie with middle-class children in degree apprenticeships for lucrative, skilled jobs such as coding. The concerns of working-class parents and students are far more pragmatic, and many of them arise from the past eight years of Tory government: reduced access to free school meals, dwindling school budgets, the discriminatory and repressive use of Prevent in education, and higher tuition fees.

Laura McAlpine responds to an interview with the chair of the education select committee
Laura McAlpine responds to an interview with the chair of the education select committee
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