Gavin Williamson – 2021 Statement on Support for Education Recovery

The statement made by Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, in the House of Commons on 24 February 2021.

The pandemic and associated restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s learning. To address this challenge, the Government have committed to work with parents, teachers and education providers to develop a long-term plan to make sure pupils have the chance to make up their learning over the course of this Parliament. We have also appointed Sir Kevan Collins as education recovery commissioner to advise on this work and review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the pandemic has had on learning.

More immediately, we are putting in place a range of additional measures to help children and young people across England. The package of measures gives early years settings, schools and providers of 16-19 education the tools they need to target support to their students, tailored to the differing impact the pandemic has had on each individual.

New measures include:

A new, one-off £302 million recovery premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the pupil premium, to further support pupils who need it most. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, and the average secondary school around £22,000 extra. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their students, for example laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September.

£200 million will fund:

– An expansion of the national tutoring programme for primary and secondary schools, to allow more pupils to benefit from the power of regular tutoring, which has been shown to boost catch up learning by much as 3-5 months at a time.

– An extension of the 16-19 tuition fund for a further year to support more students in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects.

– Support for early language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.

£200 million will be available to secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but as evidence suggests that incoming year 7 pupils may be in particular need of support, schools will want to consider their needs in particular. These schools will operate alongside wider summer support funded across the country through our holiday activities and food programme.

A range of high-quality online resources will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays, provided by Oak National Academy, to help give pupils the confidence they are ready for the next academic year.

This £700 million package incorporates the £300 million announced by the Prime Minister on 27 January and will build on the £1 billion support package that was announced in June 2020. This forms part of the wider response to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this Parliament.