Children in England are set to benefit from a £1bn Covid “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary have confirmed.
As plans continue for a full return to education from September, the government has announced £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020/21 academic year.
Whilst head teachers will decide how the money is spent, the government expects this to be spent on small group tuition for whoever needs it.
This one-off grant to support pupils in state education recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the pandemic, regardless of their income or background.
Separately, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350m, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people over the 2020/21 academic year.
This will help accelerate their academic progress and prevent the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening.
This £1bn package is on top of the £14bn three-year funding settlement announced last year – recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I want to once again thank teachers, childcare workers and support staff for the brilliant work they have been doing throughout the pandemic. This includes providing remote education for those not in school, as well as face-to-face education for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
“This £1bn catch-up package will help headteachers to provide extra support to children who have fallen behind while out of school. I am determined to do everything I can to get all children back in school from September, and we will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “We cannot afford for any of our children to lose out as a result of Covid-19. The scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.
“This package will make sure that every young person, no matter their age or where they live, gets the education, opportunities and outcomes they deserve, by spending it on measures proven to be effective, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged.
“The plan will be delivered throughout the next academic year, bringing long term reform to the educational sector that will protect a generation of children from the effects of this pandemic.”