Cut-price education package ‘will damage children for life’ say Sir Kevan Collins

Posted: 23rd June 2021

Children could suffer “lifelong effects” from the government’s failure to agree to a £15 billion education catch-up package, Sir Kevan Collins has warned.

The former education recovery tsar told the Times Education Commission that he feared decision-makers believed that there would be a “natural” recovery, but this would not happen.

Collins was speaking publicly for the first time since his resignation after the proposals he drew up were rejected by the Treasury. Instead the government has approved a £1.4 billion scheme to help children in England recover from lost learning during school closures.

He told the commission, which will spend a year investigating whether education should change because of the pandemic: “There’ll be implications right across the system. In early years, we’ve got the issue that some children just haven’t had the amount of social interaction of play or engagement with others, or the start with early language and literacy, which we know is such a strong driver of future learning. Equally, we know that at the end of education, children missed on average more days and face-to-face learning.”

Of the government declining to adopt his full plan, focusing on longer school days, tutoring and teaching training, he said: “As ever in England, one of our challenges is not the design of good ideas — we’re as good as anybody at that — it’s the implementation.”

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, was asked last week about his refusal to fund the full package and said that he could not say yes to everyone who came knocking.
Source: The Times
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