Pupils are on the move again. All over the united states during November, there have been at least two days of protests, marches and sit-ins, sometimes peacefully, sometimes a bit more forcefully. More demonstrations are planned for the coming weeks. All of us know the cause of the unrest. The Government plans to allow tuition fees to improve. There is now a cap per year of GBP3290, but this will probably be removed from September 2012, replaced using a maximum of GBP 9000 per year. Any universities wishing to charge more than GBP6000 per year must set in place measures, including offering bursaries, to encourage pupils from poorer backgrounds to use.
One striking difference between these demonstrations and those of 20 years ago, however, is the involvement of school pupils. A-Level students are fully aware of the implications of the cuts on their futures, not only over the following three years, but, in the event the plans go ahead, for years and decades in the future. The debt levels some will accrue to achieve a university education are really mind boggling. But Nick Clegg is requiring a large quantity of criticism at the same time. A pledge to honour this obligation and vote against such a proposition was signed by every person in the party. For abandoning these principles, so understandably, ever since directing his party into a coalition with all the Conservatives, Clegg continues to be assaulted. Recently, however, it emerged the Lib Dems had contemplated abandoning the commitment even prior to the election. Speaking to teachers and pupils, it is this that has enraged them more than other things.