To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the adequacy of funding for education recovery from the covid-19 outbreak; and what (a) support and (b) resources he is providing to teachers and schools to assist with (i) recovery from the covid-19 outbreak and (ii) catch-up learning.
The Department has announced significant investment of over £3 billion in education recovery funding to support children and young people to make up for education lost during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes over £950 million worth of funding direct to schools and a significant expansion of our tutoring programmes.
The Department has supported the Oak National Academy, helping schools to provide high quality online lessons, including making resources available online throughout the summer holidays.
Alongside this, the Department provided additional targeted funding to support schools through the exceptional costs fund, the COVID-19 workforce fund, and additional support to provide free school meals to eligible pupils.
Through an investment of more than £400 million, the Department has provided internet access and over 1.35 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. We will continue to provide internet access for disadvantaged pupils whose face-to-face education is disrupted during the Autumn term.
In May 2021, the Department announced a further £17 million towards improving mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges. This is in addition to the £79 million announced in March 2021.
The Department continues to discuss education recovery across Government and in the context of the Spending Review.