Gavin Williamson – 2021 Statement on Education Recovery

The statement made by Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, in the House of Commons on 7 June 2021.

The pandemic and its associated restrictions and disruptions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s learning, evidenced in recent research from the Education Policy Institute.

Last week I announced the details of the next step in our efforts to make sure children and young people catch up, as part of our ongoing education recovery plans.

A further £1.4 billion will be made available to support education recovery for children aged two to 19 in schools, colleges and early years settings, focusing on two areas where the evidence is clear that our investment will have significant impact: high- quality tutoring and great teaching.

This further instalment is the third major recovery intervention in the past year, building on the £1.7bn already announced, bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion. This forms part of the wider response to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this Parliament.

New measures include:

£1 billion for tutoring

To support those most impacted by the pandemic, particularly disadvantaged students, we will radically expand tutoring to provide up to 100 million hours of tuition for five to 19-year-olds by 2024. This will expand high-quality tutoring in every part of country so that small group tuition is available to those children who need help catching up—not just the most affluent.

In schools, we will provide up to 6 million tutoring courses for five to 16-year-olds by 2024. Children in receipt of tutoring will receive up to 15 sessions of small group or individual tuition to support them to catch up in subjects such as maths or science, delivered by a trained professional or member of school staff outside of their normal lessons. 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. For 16 to 19-year-olds, we will extend the 16-to-19 tuition fund for a further two years. Over the coming three academic years, funding will be provided to support the equivalent of 2 million 15-hour courses to accelerate the progression of lower attaining students. Collectively 16-to-19 students will receive up to 32 million hours of small group tuition over the three years.

£400 million for teaching

£253 million new funding to provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities for teachers to access world-leading training appropriate for whatever point they are at in their career, from new teachers to headteachers through extending the roll-out of the early career framework and middle and late career national professional qualification.

£153 million new funding to provide training for early years staff to support the very youngest children’s learning and development. This will involve rolling out new training programmes so that early years staff are supported to help young children with their speech and language skills as well as their physical and emotional development. We will also provide additional support and expert advice for nurseries and other settings implementing our early years reforms, which will reduce teachers’ workloads so they can spend more time supporting children’s development.

To ensure that those with the least time left do not miss out, providers of 16-to-19 education will have the option of offering students in year 13, or equivalent, the opportunity to repeat up to one more year if they have been particularly severely affected by the pandemic.

The Government have 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 later in the year to inform the spending review.