@UKLabour has today [Monday] accused the Government of already failing to live-up to their promise of a “tutoring revolution” as new figures reveal their tutoring programme will reach less than half of pupils on free school meals next year.
The Conservatives’ flagship National Tutoring Programme is projected to reach just 43% of pupils on free school meals – or 8% of all school pupils – next year undermining promises from the Education Secretary that a “tutoring revolution” would enable pupils to catch-up from the impacts of the pandemic.
Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green MP, has described the plans as a “pitiful” response for children who have missed an average of 115 days of in-person school.
Labour has expressed concern about the repeated failures of the government’s tutoring plans which include:
- The current tutoring programme reaching just 1 in 100 school pupils, while the promised expansion would see children receiving less than an hour of tutoring a fortnight across the next school year.
- Randstad, a multinational human resources company, will deliver the programme next year but with a contract worth £37 million less than the Government originally proposed, prompting fears Ministers are compromising on quality to cut costs.
In questions to the Education Secretary today, Kate Green will challenge the Government on their continued failure to invest in children’s futures, contrasting to Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan which would deliver new opportunities for all young people to play, learn and develop.
Built on the understanding that children learn best when they’re happy and well supported, Labour’s plan would provide new activities and clubs around the school day and specialist mental health support alongside delivering tutoring and targeted learning support for all children who need it.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said
“We have seen failure, upon failure from this Conservative Government which has treated children as an afterthought and is now failing to invest in their futures.
“Not only is there nothing in their proposals to support children’s wellbeing or social development but the academic element is woefully insufficient, failing to live-up to the promised tutoring revolution.
“Labour has listened to parents, teachers and children and set out a recovery plan that is ambitious for children futures, with tutoring for all who need it alongside investment in activities and clubs creating new opportunities for every child.”
Gavin Williamson said the funding announced for tutoring on 2nd June, “will fund a tutoring revolution”
In response to a written parliamentary question, School Improvement Minister Nick Gibb said: “The programme aims to reach some 750,000 disadvantaged pupils during the 2021/22 academic year.”
This is just 43% of pupils on free school meals, or 8% of all school pupils:
- 750,000 / 1,737,598 = 0.43
- 750,000 / 8,911,887 = 0.08
Pupil numbers and number of pupils on FSMs.
At an education select committee hearing on 29 April, Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP said:
“the latest figures are that of those enrolled, over 110,000 have commenced tutoring and 44% of those are eligible for pupil premium funding."
Total children started to receive tutoring
Total school children
Percentage of children receiving tuition
Source: total school children
Nick Gibb, School Improvement Minister said children have missed an average of 115 days of in-person schooling during the pandemic.
- Less than an hour of tutoring a fortnight across the next year:
- Government is delivering 15 hour tutoring courses
- Across a standard 38 week school year this is less than one hour every two weeks.
- 15hrs tutoring.
- 38 week school year.
- Randstad contract is £37 million less than originally set out in the Department for Education tender.
Rishi Sunak claims the Govt has "maxed out" on tutoring and teacher training
18th Jun 2021: Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak saying the Government has “maxed out” what they can do on tutoring and teacher training to support children’s recovery, said:
"The Chancellor's claim that he’s doing all he can to support our children’s futures is a disgrace. The Conservative’s tutoring programme is reaching just 1 in 100 children.
“Labour has an ambitious Children’s Recovery Plan which would support every child’s learning and wellbeing with tutoring for all who need it alongside investment in activities and clubs creating new opportunities for every child.
“The Chancellor’s response shows the Conservatives’ are out of touch with parents’ priorities. Failing to invest in children’s futures is a false economy, Rishi Sunak must stop making excuses and give children’s futures the priority and investment that’s urgently needed.”
Rishi Sunak said:
"we've maxed out, we've literally maxed out on what we can do in those two areas [tutoring and teacher training]."
False economy - the Education Policy Institute has estimated that the entire year of funding for education recovery cost little more than one month of funding for the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, while the cost to the economy of not supporting children to recover lost learning could be between £62bn - £420bn.
The IFS also estimates the costs of lost schooling could amount to hundreds of billions in the long-run, between £90bn and £350bn.