Skip to main content

Basic Skills: Disadvantaged

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10199, tabled on 10 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that disadvantaged children do not regress in basic skills and learning during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

24 November 2020

The government is aware that all pupils, irrespective of their background, have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We are providing schools with the resources and tools to address lost learning so that all pupils may make up lost ground. Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package is providing additional funding to schools to support pupils who have been negatively affected by the outbreak.

The £650 million universal catch-up premium is enabling all schools to identify and prioritise support for pupils to address their needs, including basic skills that have declined during the closure period. This complements the National Tutoring Programme that is targeting £350 million to accelerate the academic progress of disadvantaged pupils by making high quality tutors available to schools in all regions at a greatly reduced rate. The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance to help schools make the most of these new programmes. This is available here:

Schools continue to receive the £2.4 billion pupil premium grant that we provide to enable extra personalised support for disadvantaged pupils. We recognise the particular challenges facing some pupils at the start of their school career, so since 2014 disadvantaged pupils of primary school age have attracted a higher per-head allocation. The Education Endowment Foundation has published effective practice guidance for the pupil premium, so that schools can make a difference to every pupil’s future. The guidance is available here: