Children will be offered 100m hours of extra tutoring

Children will be offered 100m hours of extra tutoring over the next three years to help them bounce back from Covid lockdown… but plans for extended school day are kicked into the long grass

  • Teachers will also receive extra training and support worth £400million  
  • Government announced schools will be given funding Year 13 repeats
  • Longer school day and £15bn package were notably absent from announcement

Children will be offered 100million hours of tutoring over the next three years to help them bounce back from the pandemic – but plans for a longer school day appear to have stalled.

Teachers will also receive extra training and support worth £400million, bringing government spending to date on education recovery to more than £3billion.

The Government has also announced that schools or colleges will be given funding to let Year 13 students repeat the year if they have been badly affected by the pandemic.

However, a longer school day and a huge £15billion funding package, which were key demands made in a document penned by the education recovery tsar Sir Kevan Collins were notably absent.

Teachers will also receive extra training and support worth £400million, bringing government spending to date on education recovery to more than £3billion. Stock picture

Amid reports that the Treasury had baulked at the huge figure, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today confirmed a ‘further instalment’ of just £1.4billion.

Meanwhile, the question of whether the school day should be extended remains under review and ‘will be set out later in the year’, the Department for Education said.

Hailing the extra funding, Boris Johnson said it would ‘make sure that no child is left behind’. ‘This next step in our long-term catch-up plan should give parents confidence that we will do everything we can to support children who have fallen behind and that every child will have the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential,’ he said.

Amid reports that the Treasury had baulked at the huge figure, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today confirmed a ‘further instalment’ of just £1.4billion

Sir Kevan added: ‘The investments in teaching quality and tutoring announced today offer evidence-based support to a significant number of our children and teachers.’ However, he pointedly warned that ‘more will be needed to meet the scale of the challenge’.

Last night unions reacted angrily to the announcement, saying the package did not go far enough. But government sources said further support measures were in the pipeline.

Geoff Barton, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was a ‘hugely disappointing announcement which lets down the nation’s children and schools at a time when the Government needed to step up and demonstrate its commitment to education’.

However, a longer school day and a huge £15billion funding package, which were key demands made in a document penned by the education recovery tsar Sir Kevan Collins were notably absent. Stock picture

He added that there ‘has obviously been a battle over funding for education recovery which the Treasury has clearly won with the result that the settlement is less than a tenth of the £15billion that was being mooted’. He said: ‘This was a great opportunity for the Government to demonstrate that its rhetoric about levelling up had genuine meaning – that it had a real sense of ambition to do the best for disadvantaged youngsters in danger of falling further behind.

‘Instead, it has comprehensively blown that opportunity, and shown a depressing but predictable lack of ambition.’ Paul Whiteman, of head teachers’ union NAHT, called the announcement a ‘damp squib’.

Labour education spokesman Kate Green accused the Tories of ‘showing no ambition for children’s futures’ as she unveiled alternative measures which would cost £14.7billion. As well as expanding extracurricular activities and breakfast clubs, mental health support should be available in every school, as well as small group tutoring and teacher development, she said.

Mr Whiteman added he was ‘relieved to see that some of the more headline-grabbing measures previously suggested have been shelved for now. Extending the school day in particular had the potential to negatively impact on pupils’ mental health, reduce family time and leave less time for extra-curricular activities.’

Sir Peter Lampl, of education charity Sutton Trust, said the ‘funding is only a fraction of what is required. Low-income students who have already been most heavily impacted will be disadvantaged even more and overall standards, which have fallen dramatically, will be very slow to recover’.

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