Commenting on the ‘simplification’ of tutoring funding for 2022/23, confirmed by the Department for Education today, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"It is positive news that this funding for recovery will go direct to schools, rather than through a convoluted route with a commercial partner. It's a relief that the feedback from schools has been heeded. The funding will have more impact if schools can assess how best to use it, whether for small groups, 1-2-1 support or as part of wellbeing programmes.
"This admission from Government needs to mark a new approach, where the Department for Education listens more closely to leaders and teachers rather than attempting to run schools from the centre without any regard for input from the profession. School and college leaders know their students and their school community best and know what constraints they have to juggle on staffing, so of course they must be able to deploy the recovery funding.
"As this week's EPI report shows, the poorest pupils have fallen further behind their wealthier peers during the pandemic. They've also experienced worse mental health and are facing rising poverty. The Government's White Paper for schools, published on Monday, does too little to acknowledge this and gives not nearly enough help to schools and communities on the frontline.
"All along the NEU has argued that leaders should be given their head and the direct funding to get on with the job of providing education recovery. We will continue to press Government on further measures that can be made to support young people as we emerge from the pandemic."