Voice: The Union for Education Professionals – which represents school, college and early years staff, and private tutors – has welcomed the Government’s catch-up scheme for schools in England, but expressed disappointment at the decision to exclude the early years and colleges for 16 to 19-year-olds.
General Secretary Deborah Lawson said: “We welcome the catch-up programme for schools, which has the potential to be of enormous benefit to many children.
“However, we are disappointed by the exclusion of the early years and further education colleges, when much more needs to be done to support the educational, social and emotional development of children and students at both poles of the education journey.
“Clearly, all stakeholders will need to study the fine details as they become available, and it is to be hoped that enough qualified tutors can be recruited to deliver the scheme for all pupils who need it.
“We are also concerned by the confused statement which appears to contradict how schools can spend the money when there is an indication that individual schools may be expected to pay 25% of the tutoring costs from the £650m.
"Schools also need to know how they will receive the funding, and to have clarity on expectations and accountability in order to prepare properly.
“We call on the Government to work with settings and the unions to develop a strategy for any summer schemes and for the start of the autumn term in September.
“One key decision that must be made soon, so settings can prepare, is guidance on social distancing, following the decision in Northern Ireland to reduce the 2m distance to 1m for children and young people at school, but retain the distancing guidance of 2m for all adults within the education sector.
“We will continue to work the Department for Education to develop these plans and take them forwards.”
Department for Education (DfE):
Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time
Press release, DfE and Number 10:
"Guidance will be provided to the sector on how to implement the protective measures necessary to open safely, and to parents on how to minimise the spread of the virus if they choose to attend.
"Today the Education Endowment Foundation has also published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this funding to best support their pupils and their outcomes. It provides advice on support strategies schools can use in deciding how to support pupils, including intervention programmes, extra teaching capacity, access to technology or summer schools."
Education Endowment Foundation: