Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to develop a long term plan for education during and beyond the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Education recovery is a priority for the Department as schools recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19. Schools have been open for all pupils full-time since the start of the autumn term. It continues to be the Department’s aim that all pupils remain in school full-time as this is the best place for them to be for their education, development and wellbeing.

The Department recognises that all children and young people have had their education disrupted as a result of COVID-19. The Department has announced a catch up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Alongside the Catch up Premium, the Department has announced a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme, which will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.

The Department is also delivering a remote education support package which includes access to the right technology to deliver remote education, peer to peer training on how to use this effectively, and practical tools, guidance and webinars. Additionally, over 340,000 laptops and tablets, owned by schools, trusts or local authorities, are being made available by the Department this term to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted.

Understanding the long term impact of COVID-19 disruption on attainment and progress is a key research priority for the Department , and it has commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to consider catch up needs and monitor progress over the course of the year. This will help inform strategic policy for supporting the school system.

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