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Private Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL13869, tabled on 3 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Berridge on 1 March (HL Deb, col 1002), how the education recovery schemes they are designing will operate; and what opportunities independent schools will have to contribute to any such schemes.

Answered on

17 March 2021

The government is committed to helping all children and young people make up learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is why the government has invested £1.7 billion to give education settings support to help pupils get back on track, including additional funding, tutoring, early language support and summer schools. We will provide further guidance to schools on the operation of new education recovery programmes shortly.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to work with parents, teachers and pupils to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this parliament. We have appointed Sir Kevan Collins as the Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on this broader plan. The objectives of the Education Recovery Commissioner, as outlined in the Terms of Reference, are to advise on the design and implementation of potential interventions that will help students catch up learning lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Education Recovery Commissioner will be expected to engage with a range of education experts and settings to improve implementation and refine proposals to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of outcomes.

Independent schools have been actively involved in cross-sector partnerships, forming impactful and mutually beneficial partnerships with state school colleagues across several areas including curriculum development, quality of teaching, school leadership, and other school improvement initiatives. Independent schools are also involved in the Broadening Educational Pathways programme aimed at increasing the support of the sector for vulnerable children. All of this is consistent with the department’s joint understanding with the Independent Schools Council, which outlines how independent schools can work in partnership with state schools to help raise attainment and, in particular, help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. I would very much like to see this spirit of collaboration extended to our COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The terms of reference for the Education Recovery Commissioner is published here (and can be viewed in the attached document):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/960070/Terms_of_reference.pdf#:~:text=Education%20Recovery%20Commissioner%3A%20role%20specification%20and%20terms%20of,approach%20for%20education%20recovery%2C%20with%20a%20particular%20focus.