Government’s Own Education Recovery Commissioner Says Covid-19 Catch-Up Funding Is “Not Sufficient”
The government’s education recovery commissioner Sir Kevan Collins said the current plans is 'not sufficient' (Alamy)
The government’s multi-million pound support package to help pupils recover from Covid disruption has been labelled “not sufficient” by its own education recovery commissioner.
Sir Kevan Collins welcomed the £18 million earmarked to support children in the early years across England, but told MPs “this is not the recovery plan”.
Appearing in front of the education selection committee he said “we need to go much further with some more fundamental, long term pieces of work” to tackle the impact on learning from coronavirus.
He warned damage to pupils' education during the pandemic could take until 2024 to fully recover.
Collins, who was speaking ahead of a return to school for all pupils next week, said: "Although my appointment is for nine months, I think the recovery programme or approach is a long-term and sustained piece of work.
"It certainly won't be over quickly. For me it will go through this Parliament, the legacy and the work we need to do on recovery.”
Asked whether £18 million of catch-up funding was enough to support young children he replied: “No, it is not sufficient. I think the whole package isn’t sufficient. I think it’s a good start but this is not the recovery plan.”
Collins said tackling the the pandemic is revealing "underlying scars and issues" in the system, and called for "urgent" support at young people who are following a vocational route after their GCSEs.
"We need to think hard about that group who are too easily forgotten," Collins said.
“Who aren't going on to university, aren't going in to A-levels, but are the young people I still think as a system we don't serve as well as we should."
Some of the proposals education secretary Gavin Williamson has hinted could be introduced are cutting short the summer holidays or extending the school day, with extra schooling laid on.
Asked which of the policies could help, Collins said: “I tend to think that right now is not a time for either/or. It’s a time for all things being considered, all things being available.”
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