Commenting on the report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) setting out a £13.5 billion education recovery package, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“This is an excellent contribution to the debate about how to best support children and young people in the wake of the pandemic. There will be different views on the items in the shopping list of proposals, but it is great to have solid, costed ideas.
“We particularly like the fact that the report has one eye on the long-term future and the possibility of extending these initiatives. In its last annual report, EPI modelling found that on current trends the education attainment gap between disadvantaged children and other children will never close. As a society, we have to do more to address this inequality and improve the life chances of all children and young people regardless of background.
“The headlines about this package of measures are likely to be around extending school hours, and summer wellbeing programmes – which have a great deal of merit as long as they are properly resourced and do not increase the workload of leaders and teachers to an even more unsustainable level.
“But there are also many other very important proposals in this package, including increased funding for disadvantaged children in the early years, and disadvantaged students in 16-19 education, which seem so obviously right that the government simply must act.
“In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from the Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins on the plans he is currently developing, and we appeal to the government to ensure that it backs up these plans with the funding that is so clearly required both immediately and in the longer term.”