Welcome back to the final half term of this academic year, I hope you managed to enjoy some long anticipated warm and sunny weather. Despite the school holiday, half term week was not without important news stories; on Wednesday the government announced the first set of measures under its long-awaited education recovery plan.

The £1.4 billion policies include £1 billion for tuition, on top of the £1.7 billion already announced for catch-up. A total of £579 million will help schools develop “local tutoring provision” using new or existing staff. Schools and colleges will also be funded to give some year 13 students the option to repeat their final year. However, the government’s announcement did not go quite as smoothly as they had hoped, as Sir Kevan Collins, the Education Recovery Commissioner, resigned over the lack of serious funding to support pupils. The outline of the education recovery plan comes amid reports Kevan Collins had called for all children to receive an extra 100 hours of schooling each year from 2022, with a minimum of a 35 hour week. It appears this element of the detailed recommendations were initially rejected, with the Government announcing that they will review time spent in school and college with the findings to be set out later in the year to inform the spending review.

Sir Kevan Collins asserted that the government package, ‘Falls far short of what is needed and is too narrow, too small and will be delivered too slowly’. EEF research suggested that lengthening the school day could be “effective at accelerating pupil outcomes in some settings”, but that success was dependent on “crucial factors”. In Camden, it is crucial for us to now consider and plan carefully for recovery locally, with schools needing to have optimal conditions to ensure academic and pastoral growth. No doubt there will be more to be said and digested on this topic over the next few weeks.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director of Camden Learning


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