ASCL responds to Education Policy Institute’s report on post-pandemic learning loss

Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report from the Education Policy Institute, which shows maths outcomes for primary-aged pupils remain below pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic had a huge impact on learning and, although schools have been doing everything they can to mitigate this learning loss, these findings further highlight how lacking the government’s education recovery programme has been in offering the level of support required for pupils to catch up on what they have missed. 

“The fact of the matter is that the government has failed to invest enough money into education recovery, and one of its key recovery strategies – the National Tutoring Programme – is deeply flawed because it requires schools to top-up government allocations with funding that they do not have. This is compounded by the fact that school budgets are under extraordinary pressure as a result of years of underfunding. The level of primary school per pupil funding is so low that some small schools are barely sustainable. 

“With maths outcomes for primary school pupils still below pre-pandemic levels, and a major shortage of teachers threatening maths standards in secondary schools, it is remarkable that the Prime Minister has chosen to focus his attention on a misguided plan to extend the teaching of maths for all pupils to 18. 

“His priority should be to fix the problems that currently exist by ensuring that schools have the funding and teachers they need