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Literacy: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 568, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that businesses are included in his Department's plans for a literacy recovery strategy.

Answered on

19 May 2021

The Department recognises that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education. We are 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, schools and colleges to develop a long-term plan to help schools and colleges support pupils to make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has appointed Sir Kevan Collins 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 advising on the development of this plan 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.

On literacy specifically, the Government is committed to continuing to raise literacy standards, ensuring all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding. The Government will continue to work closely with a wide range of organisations, including businesses, to achieve this aim, and values the contribution of businesses to supporting children’s education. For example, 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, the expansion of our tutoring programmes, and a recovery premium for the next academic year. Funding will support pupils across nurseries, schools, and 16-19 colleges.