Highlights of the week ending 4 February

This week finally saw the publication of the much anticipated “Levelling Up” White Paper. A mixture of new policies and previously announced ones, the White Paper does not include any new spending commitments. As you would expect, education features prominently as Ministers look to tackle geographical disparities and close widening gaps. New missions aim at improving attainment at school, with “cold spots” receiving targeted help, and increasing numbers completing “high-quality” skills training. In outlining what levelling up means to him, Nadhim Zahawi said: “I want everyone to have a chance to see their potential flourish…It is everyone’s right to have a great, world-class education and schools have a key role to play in levelling up.” Reaction to the plans has been mixed, not least because of a lack of new spending promises.