James welcomes £1 billion catch up fund for school children

The Government have announced a £1 billion Covid catch-up plan which will help Head Teachers to provide extra support to children who have fallen behind while out of school, so that every young person gets the education and opportunity they deserve.

The £1 billion package to ensure primary and secondary school children do not lose out as a result of Covid-19 is made up of:

  • £650 million for state schools in England to help Head Teachers provide extra support to children who have fallen behind, through interventions like small group tuition with schools being able to decide how to spend this money.
  • £350 million towards high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged children. This will help accelerate their progress and prevent the educational attainment gap widening.

This builds on the work the Government has already provided to ensure no child is left behind, such as a £100 million investment in remote education – including delivering laptops and internet access to those who need them most. This is also on top of the £14 billion three-year funding settlement announced last year – recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.

Commenting, James said:

“As plans continue for the return of children to school in September, I welcome this billion pound Covid catch-up package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time recognising that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the pandemic, regardless of their income or background.”

“We have brilliant schools led by talented and dedicated Head Teachers in Old Bexley and Sidcup and am pleased they will be able to decide how to spend this money to ensure our local school children do not lose out as a result of Covid-19.”