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Government announces £1bn education ‘catch up' package in England

Friday 19th June 2020

Today the government has announced a £1bn 'catch-up' programme for children in England who have missed out on school during lockdown.

This includes £350m for one-on-one or small group tutoring for some of the most disadvantaged pupils at state schools in England from the start of the autumn term. Another £650m will be shared among primary and secondary schools to tackle the impact of Covid-19 for all pupils.

This money is a one-off payment for the next academic year 2020/21 starting in September and it will be up to head teachers how it is spent. This could mean classes through the summer, extra teachers or equipment like computers for pupils for example.

Jill Hardman from Contact says: "Today's announcement to help all children in England return to school in September will be welcome news for families whose children have missed months of schooling. However we need to see more details and it's worrying that specific plans for children with disabilities and additional needs so far appear to be missing. We hope that this does not mean that this group of children and their families have been forgotten and left behind.

"The changes to SEN law rushed through by the government under the Coronavirus Act, now extended for a second month, have already left many children with special educational needs unsupported. Parents need urgent reassurance that their children are included in the government's Covid catch up plan for education. When and if their children return for the autumn term they need to know that they will have all of the support set out in their child's EHC plan and what the transition plans for their children to go back to school looks like."