Remote Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Apsana Begum Apsana Begum Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to make available additional online learning resources for children during the 2020 summer holiday.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government recognises that pupils will have missed a critical period of their education in the 2019/20 academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a £650 million ‘Catch Up Premium’ to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. The expectation is that this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support children and young people to catch up after a period of disruption to their education.

To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students, including summer support: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

Alongside this, the Government is launching a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. This will increase access to high-quality tuition during the 2020/21 academic year for the most disadvantaged young people, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers.

Oak National Academy continued to make available all of their lessons, Oak Activity Clubs and assemblies from the summer term on their website over the school holidays. Parents and pupils were able to access these, and Oak National Academy also developed an 'Oak Acorn Chart' to help pupils record their progress over the summer. Further information about Oak National Academy can be found at: https://www.thenational.academy/.

The BBC also developed a comprehensive new education package, which was available during the summer holiday on TV (via the red button), BBC iPlayer, and online at BBC Bitesize. The BBC has since adapted their education support with a new BBC Bitesize package for the academic year 2020/21. In addition, the Department published a list of high-quality online resources, which have been assessed with support from some of the country’s leading educational experts and could be used during the summer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

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