Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary

On #NationalChildrensDay [Sunday], @UKLabour is calling on the Government to put children at the heart of an ambitious national recovery as new Labour analysis reveals that the Government’s summer schools will reach just 8% of pupils across England.  

In February, the Government announced funding for summer schools to support children’s recovery. However, Labour’s analysis reveals fewer than one in 12 pupils will benefit from the schemes. 

Among incoming year 7 pupils – who are the main target for summer school provision – the funding would provide just one week of summer teaching and activities, woefully insufficient to help children recover from half a year of missed school. 

The pitiful reach of summer school programmes comes on top of previous Labour analysis which revealed the Government’s flagship tutoring programme is delivering support to less than 2% of pupils. 

Labour has warned that Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech was a missed opportunity to deliver the ambitious national recovery plan that children need with more time for play and social development alongside targeted catch-up teaching. 

Labour’s plan for universal ‘catch-up’ breakfast clubs, would see all children benefit from a healthy meal to start their day, while creating extra time for children to socialise and schools to deliver targeted tuition support. Evidence shows breakfast clubs can boost children’s educational attainment with positive impacts on reading and writing. 

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: 

“These half-baked summer school plans are yet more evidence of the Conservatives’ failure to deliver on their promises on children’s recovery. 

“The Government’s plans are falling far short of what we should demand to help every child recover lost learning and social development. The Government must be ambitious for children’s recovery or risk a Covid generation being held back. 

“Labour wants children to be at the heart of our national recovery. Our Bright Future taskforce will set out bold recovery policies, starting with catch-up breakfast clubs, which are ambitious for every child’s learning and wellbeing.” 




Notes to editors 


  • This means just 8% or fewer than 1 in 12 of all school pupils will benefit from summer schools with funding of just £24 per pupil nationally. 

Total funding available to schools (£) 

Total pupils 

All Y7 pupils 

Funding per total pupil population (£) 

% of school pupils eligible for summer schools (assuming all Y7s) 







Summer schools funding allocation by school and local authority: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-summer-schools-programme-funding  

Pupil numbers: 8,267,590 state school pupils - https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/96d267d2-f708-4765-9fbc-232cfa0187be 

  • 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." https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/2142/pdf/ 


Total children started to receive tutoring 

Total school children 

Percentage of children receiving tuition 















Source: total school children: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2020 



This is equivalent to one mentor per 8,277 school pupils or just 0.26% of all pupils being supported by an academic mentor. 


Queen's Speech promise on early years "rings hollow" as new data shows 2,000 providers lost since start of the year 

12th May 2021: Labour has said the Conservative’s promise to prioritise early years in the #QueensSpeech will “ring hollow” for families affected by the loss of over 2,000 early years providers since the start of the year, as revealed by new data.

The Queen’s Speech promised support for children “prioritising their early years”. However, Tulip Siddiq MP, Shadow Early Years Minister said that this “rhetoric does not match reality” as new government data reveals that over 2,000 early years providers have already been forced to close their doors since the start of the year.

Labour has repeatedly warned that families and the economy will suffer from the Government’s failure to support the early years sector throughout the Covid crisis. This new data shows that their “worst fears” about childcare closures “are being realised”.

Tulip Siddiq has also pointed out that the Government’s early years announcements on family hubs and child health will not make up for these closures of early years providers and the loss of over 1,000 Sure Start childcare centres since 2010.

Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, said:

"Labour has repeatedly warned that a decade of Conservative neglect and the impact of the pandemic could force thousands of early years providers to shut their doors forever. This worrying data shows that our worst fears are being realised.

“The Government’s rhetoric on early years has not been matched by reality and today’s promises will ring hollow for the thousands of parents struggling to find affordable early years education, childcare and support.

“Ministers need to start listening to families and come forward with a proper plan rebuild this essential infrastructure after a decade of neglect."

According to new government statistics, there were 74,130 childcare providers in England as of 31st December 2020. The latest data release shows that there were 72,043 childcare providers as of 31st March 2021. This amounts to a loss of 2,087 childcare providers since the start of the year.  

The Queen’s Speech promised that “Measures will be brought forward to ensure that children have the best start in life, prioritising their early years.” The Government accompanied this with details of an “early years strategy” which included proposals on family hubs, obesity and healthy development.

"Stop Start", a report by the Sutton Trust from 2018 found that more than 1,000 children’s centres might have closed since 2009.

Recent government data shows that “The total expenditure by local authorities in the financial year 2019-20, on Sure Start children's centres and children under 5 was £560 million. This is a decrease of 6% from the 2018-19 figure of £590 million. LA expenditure on this category has decreased each year since 2014-15.”

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