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£700m for tutoring and summer schemes as English pupils try to catch up post lockdown

Ministers have announced an extra £700m for tutoring programmes and summer schemes in England to help children catch up after Covid-19 forced them to miss months of school.

Almost half the money will be to help support disadvantaged students.

Making the announcement, Boris Johnson said his government wanted to ensure “no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year”.

Every pupil in England is due to return to school on 8 March.

They will be back in the classroom for just a few short weeks, however, before schools break up again for the Easter holidays.

Ministers had pledged schools would be the last part of society to shut in any future lockdown, amid fears over the effect of a succession of closures on the education of a generation.

But Mr Johnson was forced to close schools for the second time at the start of January, just hours after telling parents they were “safe” for their children, as cases soared.

The new money will in part be spent on a one-off ‘recovery premium’ worth around £6,000 for the average state primary and £22,000 for the average state secondary.

Schools will be able to use the money as they see fit to help support disadvantaged students.

Ministers believe the money could help schools to bolster their summer provision for students, by laying on extra clubs and activities, for example.

The rest of the money will be spent to expand successful tutoring programmes for primary and secondary schools, help to support more 16-19-year-old students in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects, as well as on face-to-face summer schools.

Ministers believe these should initially target initially incoming year 7 pupils.

Mr Johnson said that while teachers and parents had done a “heroic” job at home “the classroom is the best place for our children to be”.

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