Wednesday 24 February 2021 / 10:30 PM Education / Kate Green

Government’s education recovery plan lacks ambition as analysis shows 900 million school days have been lost

Government’s education recovery plan lacks ambition as analysis shows 900 million school days have been lost

Labour has today [Thursday] criticised the Government for showing “no ambition” to recover the damage the pandemic has done to children.

Children have lost over 900 million days of face-to-face school since the pandemic began in March 2020 – an average of 105 days per child.

On a virtual visit to a secondary school in Hackney, Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, will urge the Government to be more ambitious and point out that the Government’s plan:

• Means that most children cannot expect to receive any additional contact time – despite 105 school days being lost for each child. Summer school programmes are expected to reach just a third of pupils on free school meals.
• Includes nothing specific on wellbeing and mental health – despite expert warnings that the pandemic is leading to significant increase in probable mental health conditions and NHS data showing a 50% increase in children’s mental health conditions since 2017.
• Says nothing on how this extra support will be staffed.
• Makes no long-term commitment to delivering the support children need, with funding only provided for one year.

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Delivering the support children need should be the centre piece of our national recovery from this pandemic, but Ministers have again shown their lack of ambition for our children. Most children will not get any additional contact time, there is nothing specific on wellbeing and mental health, and no long-term plan to ensure children get the support they need.

“The Government has neglected children throughout the pandemic. We need a transformation in support for children’s learning and wellbeing but Ministers are failing to give pupils, parents and staff the support they need.”