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“PITIFUL”: School leaders’ union slams £1.4 billion investment as not enough

“PITIFUL”: School leaders’ union slams £1.4 billion investment as not enough


The £1.4 billion announced for the catch up programme for pupils in England is “pitiful”, Geoff Barton of the school leaders’ union has said.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told Sky News: “It’s pretty dispiriting, here I am as somebody who is leading a trade union, and for all my colleagues it feels this morning as if we have got higher ambitions for the nation’s children and young people than the Education Secretary.

“It’s pretty pitiful, only yesterday we were hearing stories about extending the school day and even if some people disagreed with it, at least there was a sense of ‘let’s do something radical, let’s do something different’.

“Today’s announcement essentially equates to £50 per head, you compare that with the USA which is putting £1,600 per head, per young person, or the Netherlands, £2,500 per head.

“So what is it about those children in the Netherlands or the USA that makes them worth more than our Government seems to say?

“It’s time to stop the rhetoric I think and start the action on behalf of children and young people.”

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green

The £1.4 billion announced for the school catch-up programme “lets down” pupils, shadow education secretary Kate Green said.

Ms Green told Sky News: “I’m afraid it badly lets down our children and young people.

“It’s going to bring in some extra tutoring, it’s going to bring in some training for teachers. But we know that parents say that the most worrying concern that they have following the pandemic is their children’s emotional wellbeing, their ability to socialise with other children and their mental wellbeing.

“So it’s a very limited announcement, I’m afraid, that the Government is making and children and young people can’t really afford to wait for this Government to get a sensible package that will properly address children’s educational recovery and their wellbeing.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson welcomed the investment.

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