Former education tsar criticises Rishi Sunak's 'meagre' catch-up plans

Former education tsar criticises Rishi Sunak’s ‘meagre’ catch-up plans as he says the Government’s extra cash to address Covid disruption is ‘not enough’ and warns pupils will leave school with lower skills

  • Rishi Sunak pledged extra £1.8bn for catch up at the Budget, taking total to £5bn
  • But ex-catch up tsar Sir Kevan Collins said the money allocated is ‘not enough’ 
  • He warned the lack of funding will have long term consequences for pupils 
  • The Government’s former education catch-up tsar has criticised Rishi Sunak‘s ‘meagre’ Budget plans to help children recover from the disruption of the coronavirus crisis. 

    Sir Kevan Collins, who quit the role in June this year, said it is ‘great to see additional money’ allocated to education after Mr Sunak pledged a further £1.8billion for catch-up.  

    That took the Government’s total spend on the issue to almost £5billion but Sir Kevan said that is ‘not enough’. 

    He warned the failure to provide more funding to schools will have long term consequences with pupils leaving school with ‘lower skills’ than previous cohorts. 

    Sir Kevan Collins, who quit the role in June this year, said it is 'great to see additional money' allocated to education after Mr Sunak pledged a further £1.8billion for catch-up

    Sir Kevan Collins, who quit the role in June this year, said it is ‘great to see additional money’ allocated to education after Mr Sunak pledged a further £1.8billion for catch-up

    Rishi Sunak pledged an additional £1.8billion for catch-up at the Budget on Wednesday this week

    Rishi Sunak pledged an additional £1.8billion for catch-up at the Budget on Wednesday this week

    Mr Sunak announced in his Budget speech on Wednesday that the Government will ‘go further’ to help schools and colleges with education recovery, bringing its total catch-up investment ‘to almost £5 billion’.

    Unions said the extra £1.8billion, made available on top of £3.1billion already pledged, was ‘inadequate’.

    Sir Kevan resigned from his Government role earlier this year after ministers rejected his proposals for a £15billion recovery package, to be spent over a three year period.   

    He said that the £5billion allocated by the Government falls short of what is needed. 

    In comments reported by The Guardian, he said: ‘It’s great to see additional money – always – in education, but it’s not enough. 

    ‘I’m concerned that these meagre measures reveal a failure to recognise the kind of foundational role schools play in creating fair and prosperous communities.

    ‘We know the pandemic and learning loss has hit our poorest communities hardest. 

    ‘We know potentially we have wiped out all the work we did to narrow the gap and the gap is now widening between disadvantaged children and their peers.

    Unions said the extra £1.8billion, made available on top of £3.1billion already pledged, was 'inadequate'

    Unions said the extra £1.8billion, made available on top of £3.1billion already pledged, was ‘inadequate’

    ‘The short-term saving offered by a limited recovery programme will be dwarfed by the long-term cost of successive cohorts leaving education with lower skills.’

    Mr Sunak had told MPs during his Budget speech on Wednesday: ‘We’ve already announced £3.1billion to help education recovery.

    ‘Today, as promised by the Prime Minister and Education Secretary, we will go further – with just under £2billion of new funding to help schools and colleges – bringing this Government’s total support for education recovery to almost £5billion.’

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