A billion pound announcement for education catch up plans for children in England will not include investment in early years

The Prime Minister and Education Secretary are set to announce today:

  • £650m for state schools to lift educational outcomes
  • £350m tutoring scheme specifically for the most disadvantaged
  • The Government’s ambition is that all providers running holiday clubs and activities for children over the summer holiday will be able to open, if the science allows. 

NDNA has been quick to respond saying that the early years is in urgent need of support and the Government must invest in its youngest children.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “Yet again the Government fails the early years sector and very young children who are most in need of support in their early development and learning.

“Decision makers have demonstrated a total lack of consideration in the crucial role that early years practitioners play in a child’s life, for their families and the wider economy. Nurseries and other childcare providers have been the 4th emergency sector during this crisis, ensuring critical workers can do their vital jobs.

“And now they face a serious financial crisis themselves. We have been lobbying the Treasury hard for a recovery and transformation package to support these providers to remain sustainable now and into the future. 

“Many nurseries have reopened to very few children and their businesses are just not financially viable. And yet, if they have to close, young children will be left with no support for their burgeoning development and parents will be unable to work.

“The Government must now show that it takes a child’s early learning seriously and invest urgently to support young children and ensure nurseries are sustainable to support families before it’s too late.”

Purnima added that Boris Johnson had thanked the early years sector and childcare workers for their “brilliant work” but these were empty words with no support behind them.

Purnima has requested an urgent meeting with Labour’s Shadow Early Years Minister Tulip Siddiq, who has written this letter to the Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford

Here is the full press release:

Children in England are set to benefit from a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary have confirmed. 

As plans continue for a full return to education from September, the government has announced £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020/21 academic year.

Whilst head teachers will decide how the money is spent, the government expects this to be spent on small group tuition for whoever needs it. 

This one-off grant to support pupils in state education recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the pandemic, regardless of their income or background. 

Separately, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people over the 2020/21 academic year.

This will help accelerate their academic progress and prevent the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening. 

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14 billion three-year funding settlement announced last year - recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I want to once again thank teachers, childcare workers and support staff for the brilliant work they have been doing throughout the pandemic.

“This includes providing remote education for those not in school, as well as face-to-face education for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.

“This £1 billion catch-up package will help head teachers to provide extra support to children who have fallen behind while out of school.’

‘I am determined to do everything I can to get all children back in school from September, and we will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: 

“We cannot afford for any of our children to lose out as a result of COVID-19. The scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.