Children and young people across England will be offered up to 100 million hours of free tuition to help them catch up on learning lost during the pandemic.
As part of the next step in the government’s plans to boost education recovery, a total of £1.4 billion is being invested, including £1 billion to support up to 6 million, 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged school children, as well as an expansion of the 16-19 tuition fund, targeting key subjects such as maths and English.
£400 million will help give early years practitioners and 500,000 school teachers across the country training and support, and schools and colleges will be funded to give some year 13 students the option to repeat their final year.
It builds on the £1.7 billion already announced to help children catch up on what they missed during the pandemic, which includes summer schools and mental health support, bringing total investment to over £3 billion.
The government has committed to an ambitious, long-term education recovery plan and the next stage will include a review of time spent in school and college and the impact this could have on helping children and young people to catch up. The findings of the review will be set out later in the year to inform the spending review.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Young people have sacrificed so much over the last year and as we build back from the pandemic, we must make sure that no child is left behind.
This next step in our long-term catch up plan should give parents confidence that we will do everything we can to support children who have fallen behind and that every child will have the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential.
One course of high-quality tutoring has been proven to boost attainment by three to five months, so tutoring will be vital for young people in recovering the teaching hours lost in the last year.
The government expects the £1 billion investment to transform the availability and approach to tuition in every school and college over the next three years, making sure when teachers identify a disadvantaged child in need of support as a result of the pandemic, extra support is available.
£153 million will provide the opportunity for evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development for the youngest children.
£253 million will expand existing teacher training and development to give 500,000 school teachers the opportunity to access world-leading training appropriate for whatever point they are at in their career, from new teachers to headteachers. This represents a significant overhaul of teacher training in this country, and will ensure children are supported by world-leading teachers.
Schools or colleges will be able to offer students in year 13 the option to repeat the year if they have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. Schools and colleges will be funded by the Department to help accommodate the additional student numbers.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
This is the third major package of catch-up funding in twelve months and demonstrates that we are taking a long-term, evidence-based approach to help children of all ages.
I am incredibly proud it recognises the efforts and dedication of our teachers who are at the forefront of children’s recovery – making sure every teacher has the opportunity to access world-leading training, giving them the skills and tools to help every child they work with to fulfil their potential.
The package will not just go a long way to boost children’s learning in the wake of the disruption caused by the pandemic but also help bring back down the attainment gap that we’ve been working to eradicate.
Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins said:
The pandemic has caused a huge disruption to the lives of England’s children.
Supporting every child to get back on track will require a sustained and comprehensive programme of support.
The investments in teaching quality and tutoring announced today offer evidence-based support to a significant number of our children and teachers. But more will be needed to meet the scale of the challenge.
All ages from two to 19 are comprehensively covered by the offers of radically expanded tuition, specialist training for early years and for school teachers at every stage of their career, from new teachers to head teachers, as well as the option for some year 13 students to repeat their final year.
Schools will now be able to provide additional tutoring support using locally employed tutors. This will build on the successful National Tutoring Programme, galvanising tuition providers to deliver the one-to-one and small group tutoring for pupils right across the country, to the highest standards and greatest possible impact.
Randstad will be the new supplier of the NTP from September 2021. They will be supported by Teach First to ensure the programme is successfully set up for effective delivery and continuous improvement in academic year 21/22.