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Students: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL379, tabled on 18 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Education Policy Institute Education recovery and resilience in England, published on 14 May, what assessment they have made of the benefit of allowing students the option to retake an academic year, in cases of extreme learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

7 June 2021

The degree of time away from school will be considered when schools are planning their support for pupils to catch up on lost education and development. The department does not anticipate that all pupils will need to repeat a school year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In exceptional circumstances it remains possible for headteachers to agree to a pupil repeating a school year if they think it is appropriate.

In June 2021 we announced £1.4 billion of additional funding for education recovery.  This is in addition to the £1.7 billion already committed bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion.

The package provides an additional £1.4 billion to support children aged 2 to 19 in schools, colleges and early years. This will provide an additional £1 billion for tutoring, which will allow us to provide up to 100 million hours of tuition for 5 to 19 year olds by 2024, targeting disadvantaged children and key subjects such as mathematics and English. We are also making available an extra £400 million to help provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities across the country, alongside professional development for early years practitioners.

In addition, schools or colleges will be able to offer students in year 13 a repeat year where they have been particularly badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Funding for this will be met from existing departmental budgets.

This is the third major recovery intervention in the past year and comes on top of to the £1.7 billion already announced to support recovery to date. This package provides additional investment, building on the almost £550 million already announced for small group tuition, £200 million for secondary schools to deliver face to face summer schools this summer, a £650 million universal catch up premium for schools this year and a £302 million recovery premium next year.

This package is the next step towards recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are also launching a review of the evidence on extending the school and college day, to conclude in time for the Spending Review, alongside continuing to monitor how effectively pupils are catching up.