99% of children are receiving no government catch-up tutoring across the country – the equivalent of 123,166 missing out according to new analysis from Mansfield Labour.
The analysis comes following the resignation of the Conservative’s Education Recovery Commissioner, Kevan Collins, in protest at the Government’s plan to offer just a tenth of the support he recommended. In a resignation letter, he wrote that it is not “credible that a successful recovery can be achieved with a programme of support of this size”.
Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan however, proposes a programme for all children to ‘play, learn and develop’ as the post-covid catch up continues. Labour’s £15bn plan – in line with Kevan Collins’ recommendations – would deliver:
- Small group tutoring for all who need it, not just 1%
- Breakfast clubs and new activities for every child
- Quality mental health support in every school
- Continued development for teachers
- An Education Recovery Premium
- Ensure no child goes hungry
Mansfield Labour’s Elected Mayor, Andy Abrahams said,
“Children in Mansfield and Nottinghamshire have had two years of their education disrupted by Covid. That’s a huge loss for them and a massive responsibility on the rest of us to help them catch up. Failing now will leave an entire generation scarred for life.
“A successful recovery is going to take a serious plan, that’s why Labour is proposing a major programme that leaves no child behind – the same size as the programme recommend by the Government’s own education recovery commissioner.
“Yet instead, this government has let our children down. They have offered just a tiny fraction of the support our children need and the result is that 123,000 children have received no government catch-up tutoring whatsoever – 99%. That’s just not good enough.”
Kate Green, the Shadow Education Secretary said Labour’s £15bn plan – in line with Kevan Collin’s own proposals and informed by the Bright Future Taskforce of education experts – delivers the bold action that teachers, parents, children, education experts and employers have said is needed.
This one-off investment is dwarfed by the estimated cost to the economy and the taxpayer of not supporting children’s recovery, which the Education Policy Institute has said could be up to £420bn – almost 30 times more than the cost of Labour’s package.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said
“Children are excited to be back in the classroom with their friends and hungry to learn. After such disruption, we owe it to them to match their energy and motivation, with the support and resources they need to thrive, not just whilst they catch-up, but for their school careers and beyond.
“Our plans deliver this, by funding activities to combine learning and play while investing in our teachers and staff, Labour will ensure that children not only recover, but are supported to push on. In contrast, the Conservatives are showing no ambition for children’s futures.
“Labour’s innovative plans, informed by parents, teachers and children, will deliver not just a world-class education for all based on play and social development, but fulfilled and confident young people.”
“We must match the ambition children have for their own futures and put them at the heart of our national recovery. This is an investment that our children’s futures and the future of our country depends on.”
Notes to editors
Government funded tutoring is reaching just 1%: At an education select committee hearing on 29 April, Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP said: “the latest figures are that of those enrolled, over 110,000 have commenced tutoring and 44% of those are eligible for pupil premium funding.”. This equates to just 1.24% of children receiving support under the Government’s tutoring scheme. https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/2142/pdf/
|Total children started to receive tutoring||Total school children||Percentage of children receiving tuition|
Source: total school children: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2020
This equates to just 1546 children in Nottinghamshire receiving catch up tutoring, with 123,166 missing out
|Total children in school in Nottinghamshire||Children receiving catch up tuition (based on 1.24% nationwide||Children not receiving catch-up tuition|
Despite Kevan Collins saying £15bn investment is needed to support children’s recovery, the Treasury is reportedly only willing to spend £1.5bn: https://www.tes.com/news/exclusive-extended-school-day-plan-hit-lack-cash
The Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker shows children in the UK have spent more time out of school or university than anywhere else in Europe: https://covidtracker.bsg.ox.ac.uk/
Labour’s plan will invest £14.7 billion in the education system over the next two years, as a one-off funding boost to ensure no child is held back by the pandemic – see table below.
In contrast, the Education Policy Institute has estimated the cost to the economy of not supporting children to recover lost learning could be between £62bn – £420bn. The IFS has estimated this would be between £90bn and £350bn.
Labour’s Bright Future Taskforce was established in March to develop a national strategy to ensure all children recover the learning and social development lost during the pandemic and have the chance to reach their full potential: https://labour.org.uk/bright-future-taskforce-2/
The Government is reported to be planning a longer school day: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/school-day-to-be-extended-under-15bn-covid-rescue-plan-to-help-children-catch-up-bnsb5d6ll
This is unpopular amongst parents and education experts who have warned there is limited benefit from a short extension to lessons:
Longer school hours won’t plug Covid learning gaps, says Cambridge academichttps://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/may/28/longer-school-hours-plug-covid-learning-gaps-cambridge-academic
Parents oppose longer school days to help children catch up: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/parents-oppose-longer-school-days-to-help-children-catch-up-5bv9k502m
Parents have reported their children’s wellbeing and social development to be their top concern post-pandemic:
56% of parents in an IpsosMori poll named increased wellbeing as their top priority to help children catch-up:https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/three-ten-home-schooling-parents-say-it-did-not-go-well
89% of mums felt lockdown took a big toll on the mental health of children and young people, and 77% of mums are more worried about children missing out on social skills as result of lockdown: https://britainthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BT-and-MN_Mums-and-lockdown_webinar-deck_11.03.21_For-publication.pdf
Pupils have missed an average of 95 in-person school days:
|Total in-person days missed||Total school children||Average per child|
Source total school children: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2020
Pupils on free school meals are on average 18 months of learning behind their peers at GCSE, a gap which had not narrowed in five years even before the pandemic: https://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/EPI_2020_Annual_Report_.pdf
School spending per pupil in England fell by 9% in real terms between 2009–10 and 2019–20. This represents the largest cut in over 40 years. https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/15025
4.3 million children were in living in poverty in March 2020 according to the Government’s latest figures, an increase of nearly 700,000 since 2010. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020
The average secondary school class size has risen to its highest level since 2001 under the Conservative’s, with the average class now at 22 pupils: https://www.tes.com/news/secondary-school-class-sizes-biggest-19-years#:~:text=Average%20secondary%20school%20class%20sizes,2019%20to%2022%20in%202020
Summary of policy costs
Unless specified otherwise, all costs are revenue spending in both of the next two years. All figures are presented to the nearest million. For policies where there is a different cost in each of the next two years (teacher development fund, and both spending lines on alternative provision) the average cost is given.
|Area of spending||Cost|
|Extended schools, extracurricular activities||£4.536 billion|
|Mental health support||£317 million|
|Education Recovery Premium
||£622 million, of which:
|One off payment to replace pupil premium funding schools have lost||£133 million|
|Extend the National Tutoring programme, reaching equivalent of all pupils eligible for free school meals||£572 million|
|Extend existing tutoring support in further education||£100 million|
|Teacher development fund||£300 million|
|Training for teaching assistants to deliver tutoring||£72 million|
|Fund pupils in further education to resit a year||£330 million|
|Extend alternative provision to post-16||£90 million|
|Increase spending on alternative provision by £3,000 per pupil||£100 million|
|Double the Pupil Premium for those in transition years (one-off single year cost)||£500 million|
The total cost of the package would be £14.7bn across the next two years. In the first year, the cost is £7.7 billion because of the one-off doubling of the Pupil Premium for those in transition years and the one-off payment to replace lost pupil premium funding.