ASCL comment on education recovery plan

02/06/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the government announcement about the post-Covid education recovery plan.
 
Commenting on the government announcement about the post-Covid education recovery plan, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

This is a hugely disappointing announcement which lets down the nation’s children and schools at a time when the government needed to step up and demonstrate its commitment to education. 

“The amount of money that the government plans to put into education recovery is insufficient and shows a failure to recognise the scale of learning loss experienced by many pupils during the pandemic – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The sum of £1.4 billion may sound like a big figure but it is divided into many different pots, has to be distributed across thousands of schools and millions of pupils, and the delivery processes outlined in the announcement seem incredibly complicated.

“There has obviously been a battle behind the scenes over funding for education recovery which the Treasury has clearly won with the result that the settlement is less than a tenth of the £15 billion that was being mooted.

“The announcement has then been snuck out in half term presumably with the hope that it won’t attract too much attention.

“This was a great opportunity for the government to demonstrate that its rhetoric about levelling up had genuine meaning - that it had a real sense of ambition to do the best for disadvantaged youngsters in danger of falling further behind because of the pandemic.

“Instead, it has comprehensively blown that opportunity, and shown a depressing but predictable lack of ambition.