Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee report warning of a ‘lost generation in education’, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“This new report spells out the worrying trends that schools have been seeing since the pandemic. The growing attainment gap with all its implications for children’s life chances can’t be allowed to continue and the Government must take immediate action.
‘The government is in denial both about the scale of the problems and the depth of change that our learners need. Disgracefully it ignored the report of Sir Kevan Collins, its own recovery Czar.
‘Governments response to education recovery has focussed on academic catch up. The provision offered through the National Tutoring Programme was never adequately and appropriately funded. It has so far provided less than a third of the money its own advisor called for and have provided little for the mental health and emotional impacts of the pandemic. The growing problem of attendance in part reflects the perception of many students that their needs are not being met by the current system.
‘The Government must ensure that funding for the NTP is adequate and long-term, invest in educators to stem the recruitment and retention crisis, and provide more support for mental health. It must address our out of date system of curriculum and assessment and move much more speedily to implement a well-founded plan for SEND and Alternative Provision”.