After an unprecedented 15 months, education recovery has got to be the top priority of this Government. Significant investment is needed so that schools and colleges can feel equipped to fully support young people and their families, ensuring everyone in education is able to reach their full potential.
There are no quick or cheap fixes. That is why Sir Kevan Collins, the Government's own appointed Education Recovery Commissioner, recommended £15bn for a proper recovery strategy. The Education Policy Institute recommended a similar figure, and it is fast becoming a consensus view across the profession.
However, the Treasury came back with £1.4 billion. Boris Johnson believes this will “give parents confidence”, but no one is fooled. The Government is cutting corners. And that is why Sir Kevan Collins resigned.
In England, the Government’s pledge amounts to just £50 per pupil per year for education recovery. The average primary school will receive the equivalent of just £22 per pupil per year. By contrast, the USA have pledged £1,600 per pupil and the Netherlands £2,500 per pupil.
Not only are the Government offering 1/50th of what the Netherlands are delivering, but 1/10th of what was recommended by their own Commissioner.
If we are to protect an education system that supports high standards and places pupil wellbeing and mental health at its heart, then the Government must properly resource education recovery. No ifs or buts. As Sir Kevan Collins said: "Without a comprehensive and urgent response, we risk failing hundreds of thousands of pupils."
We the undersigned call on Government to provide the funds schools need to best help children recover from this pandemic.