Commenting on a Department for Education-commissioned report on learning loss experienced as a result of the pandemic, which was carried out by the EPI and Renaissance, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"Teachers worked hard for all their pupils throughout the pandemic and the needs of disadvantaged is of paramount importance to school and college leaders and their staff. Throughout summer term 2021 we called on Government to get a grip on Covid, but instead they allowed both the virus and absence rates to spiral. This inevitably has an impact on young people's learning, and it is in the less affluent parts of the country - and in crowded homes - where Covid transmission is more likely to be higher. 

"The Government's recipe for autumn has been not only more of the same but even fewer mitigations. Their corner-cutting on education recovery, which persists in this week's budget, makes it abundantly clear that the Prime Minister’s commitment to ‘repaying’ the generation of school pupils affected by the Covid pandemic is just words. If this really was his priority, he would have insisted that education recovery was given the funding it needs rather than being short-changed by billions of pounds."