A £1 billion COVID-19 ‘catch up’ package for school pupils, to tackle the impact of lost teaching time, has been announced by the Government.
It includes an extra £650 million for schools in England, plus £350 million in subsidies for a one-year national tutoring programme to help the most disadvantaged children. Primary and secondary schools will be able to purchase low-cost tuition for pupils.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also reiterated his commitment to getting all children back to school in September and promised to bring forward plans on this as soon as possible.
Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Councils want to work with schools and government to help children catch up on any school work they may have missed, and ensure as many pupils as possible return to school in September, as it is absolutely vital that children do not fall further behind in their development.
“We now look forward to seeing the guidance for this plan.”
Various reports have highlighted the impact of school closures on children, particularly the most vulnerable.
School closures, social distancing and lockdown measures have seriously affected the ability of local services to support children and their families, according to a recent report from the Early Intervention Foundation and Action for Children.
School leaders believe that around a third of primary and secondary pupils are not engaging at all with work set to do at home via remote learning, according to a survey carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research.
Pupil engagement is lower in schools with the highest levels of deprivation, with school leaders reporting that 23 per cent of their pupils have limited access to IT at home.