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If Boris Johnson is serious about levelling up the nation, he should begin with our children who are the nation’s future.

The PM’s Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has failed them at every turn during this pandemic.

But it is the poorest students who have suffered most and are least able to catch up.

They are more likely to have missed school time and less likely to have the right conditions to study effectively at home.

And now they have been plunged into an assessment process which ignores these disadvantages because there is little room for appeal.

No wonder they fear for their futures. We should worry for ours too.

If these children are unable to progress to higher education, Britain will miss out on all that potential they have to offer.

That’s why we back the Social Mobility Foundation’s call to make it easier for them to appeal teacher grades or opt to sit free exams instead.

Year 13 students should also be able to repeat their last year of schooling if that is what’s needed to bring them up to speed.

Covid has jeopardised the life chances of all young people.

But only by creating a level playing field – so that everyone can help repair the damage – will Mr Johnson fulfil his stated ambition: To build back better.

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Give to miners

The Sunday Mirror has for years campaigned for justice for the hard-done-by members of the Mineworkers Pension Fund.

The Treasury has taken £4.4billion out of the Fund’s surplus since 1994.

If Chancellor Rishi Sunak believes in fairness, now is the time to put a stop to that.

Not to do so would be “unconscionable”, according to MPs who said £1.2billion should be given back to those to whom it rightfully belongs.

Doing so will add £14 to a former miner’s average pension of £84 a week, and would go some way to putting right what has been a grave injustice for the past 26 years.

Sadly, terminally ill Roy Thompson will not live to see the benefit. But the courageous ex-miner’s dying wish is that his family will.

Since successive governments started lining the Treasury’s pockets, nearly 300,000 miners have died. There can be no justice for them.

But there are still 124,000 pit workers drawing their pensions, and another 11,000 who will.

We respect the dark and dangerous work they once did underground. Today they deserve some light at the end of the tunnel.

Might & mane

The Three Lions need to be at their roaring best when they face the Czech Republic at Wembley on Tuesday evening .

Patrik Schick is the wonder player of this tournament. He already has three goals under his belt, one a 50-yard belter against Scotland.

Here’s hoping nifty footwork by Gareth Southgate’s lads will be enough to outplay him

Because we want to be over the moon… not Schick as parrots.