Children: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the most vulnerable children whose education is being disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to catch up with their peers in due course.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department will do whatever it can to make sure no child, whatever their background or location, falls behind as a result of coronavirus.

Schools remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children, who are encouraged to attend where it is appropriate for them to do so. Where vulnerable children are not attending an educational setting, we have asked local authorities, schools and colleges to continue to keep in touch with these children and young people during this period.

Schools are continuing to receive additional funding in the form of the pupil premium – worth around £2.4 billion annually – to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

The government has also committed over £100 million to support children learn at home during this crisis and is considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils who have been affected by school closures. We are working at pace with experts, including the Education Endowment Foundation, to understand and address the immediate and longer-term impacts of school closures. This includes considering the benefits and challenges of a targeted online tutoring offer and the feasibility of some support over the summer.

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