Children: Coronavirus

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

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that children, in particular those from low-income families, are not negatively affected by missed schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic and can catch-up on lessons.

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

Education recovery lies at the heart of our national mission as we emerge from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. On 19 June we announced a £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be shared across state primary, secondary and special schools over the 2020/21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the outbreak, regardless of their income or background.  School leaders will have discretion over how to use the funding, but we expect it to focus on the most effective approaches. The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance to help schools make good decisions about how to use the money effectively.

Separately, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will increase access to high-quality tuition for children and young people from deprived backgrounds. This will help to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap between them and their peers.  We published guidance on both parts of the package on 20 July, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium.

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion core funding increase over three years announced last year, and the £2.4 billion pupil premium funding which schools continue to receive to support their disadvantaged pupils.

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