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Pupils: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14419, tabled on 19 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure the new £700 million education recovery package for children and young people will prioritise those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Answered on

6 April 2021

The department is aware that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been felt most heavily by disadvantaged children and young people, and so it is vital that support is targeted here.

In June 2020, the department announced an initial package of support worth £1 billion, including a catch up premium worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Alongside this universal grant, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will provide additional, targeted tuition support to disadvantaged pupils who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Research shows high quality individual and small group tuition can add up to five months of progress for disadvantaged pupils.

In February 2021, the department appointed Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner to advise how to help pupils make up for their lost education over the course of this Parliament. The department has provided a further £700 million to support education recovery measures, bringing total investment in catch up to over £1.7 billion. This package includes significant funding aimed at addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils.

This package includes a one-off £302 million recovery premium for the next academic year that will be allocated to schools based on the pupil premium eligibility. Schools with more disadvantaged pupils will therefore receive larger allocations.

Schools will continue to receive the pupil premium every quarter. Each school’s original pupil premium strategy will not have been delivered since March 2020 and the pupils’ needs will have changed or intensified. The department recommends that, as part of the planning for needs based universal catch up, headteachers should review their pupil premium strategy and amend it to reflect the new situation from September 2020.

The department will provide £200 million in order to expand our successful tutoring programmes. This will fund an £83 million expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for 5 to 16 year olds in the 2021/22 academic year, £102 million funding extension of the 16 to 19 tuition fund for a further year to support more students in English, mathematics and other vocational and academic subjects, and £18 million funding to support language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.

The department will also make a further £200 million available to secondary schools to help deliver face to face summer schools this year, offering a blend of academic teaching and enrichment activities to support education recovery. Schools will be able to decide whether to run a summer school and how to make places available. We recommend an initial focus on incoming year 7 pupils, but schools will have the flexibility to target provision towards the pupils they feel will most benefit.