Commenting on a new education plan for the immediate post-Covid period, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“This is good thinking from the Labour Party. Their education recovery plan meets the needs of the nation’s children and young people now and is ambitious for the future.  Breakfast clubs, expanded extra-curricular activities and greater opportunities for children to play and socialise will develop their interpersonal skills. Labour is right to recognise that children need to recover through play and through greatly improved mental-health support. Research has shown that high-quality individual and small-group tutoring is also highly effective in enabling children to make up for lost learning. 

“Labour is also right to focus on teachers - of whom so much has been asked, and given, during the pandemic. Teachers do not get the professional development that they want and need - and this plan would begin to redress this imbalance, and perhaps persuade more to stay. 

“Labour’s plan is properly funded and would enable these laudable ambitions to become a reality. We await news of the Treasury’s funding to see how serious the government is about education recovery for the nation’s children.”