Education and Training: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage young people to stay in education and training during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

All young people are now required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. Local authorities have a statutory duty to identify and track the participation of 16 and 17-year-olds. This includes supporting those who are not participating to do so and making sure that there is sufficient and suitable education and training provision to meet their needs.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, colleges and providers have moved more learning online to allow students to continue with studies remotely. We have provided advice and signposted to support to help with this.

We know that remote learning has been working well for many students in post-16 education. We will continue to work with the sector to establish the best way to support students to make up for the disruption due to COVID-19.

Although online education should remain the predominant way of learning for now, further education providers are re-opening for 16-19 learners on the first year of a 2-year study programme (this also includes apprentices). In addition, all learners under 19 years old can be offered a face-to-face meeting before the end of the summer term, subject to the required safety measures being met.

We are currently reviewing options for the autumn term. We would like to see as full a return as soon as possible in order to support young people and make up for time spent out of education.

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