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Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 183163, tabled on 19 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on education outcomes in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England.

Answered on

28 April 2021

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the attainment and progress of all students is a key research priority for the Government. We have commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to provide a baseline assessment of catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and to monitor progress over the course of the year. This research is based on assessments that schools are already using over this academic year. Initial findings from the research were recently published on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report.

In reading, pupils in Years 3 to 9 in England were on average 1.6-2 months behind where we would expect them to be in Autumn 2020 in a 'normal' year. In Mathematics, pupils in Years 3 to 7 in England were on average around 3.2 months behind in Autumn 2020.

Once adjusted for historic differences in pupil progress, pupils in the West Midlands were on average around 1.6 months behind where we would expect them to be in Autumn 2020 in a ‘normal year’ in primary reading and on average around 2.1 months behind in secondary reading.

Due to small sample sizes, we are unable to produce robust regional estimates in Mathematics nor produce robust estimates at the local authority and constituency geographical levels.

The Government recognises school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education and is committed to helping pupils make up education lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To address this challenge, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister committed to working with parents, teachers, and education providers to develop a long-term plan to help schools, colleges, and nurseries support pupils to make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

Sir Kevan Collins was appointed as Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on the development of the long-term recovery plan. Sir Kevan will engage with parents, pupils, and teachers in the development of this broader approach and review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on education. Further details will be shared in due course.

£1.7 billion has been made available in funding to support education recovery. In June 2020, we announced a £1 billion catch-up package including a National Tutoring Programme and a Catch-up Premium for this academic year. In February 2021, we committed to further funding of £700 million to fund summer schools, expansion of our tutoring programmes and a Recovery Premium for next academic year. Funding will support pupils across early years settings, schools, and providers of 16-19 education.

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