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@Labour Leader calls on Conservatives to match Labour’s ambition for children’s futures as analysis shows over 346 million days of face to face school lost this year

Ahead of GCSE results, Labour Leader Keir Starmer is calling on the Conservatives to match Labour’s ambition for children futures with support for every young person to reach their potential. The call comes as Labour analysis shows an estimated 346 million days of face to face school have been lost this year.

On a visit to a school in Swindon, Keir Starmer will meet students receiving their GCSE results and urge the Government to adopt Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan, to ensure every young person is supported bounce back from the pandemic and reach their potential.

The call comes as Labour analysis shows that the level of face to face teaching that children have lost amounts to over eight weeks per pupil this year, in addition to an average of 14 weeks of face-to-face school missed last year. This time out of school has disproportionately hit some children, with pupils on free school meals 30% more likely to have been out of school in the autumn term, and pupils across the North of England having, on average, an additional week out of school compared with their southern peers.

The Conservatives’ lack of ambition for children’s recovery means an estimated 560,000 year 11 students are leaving secondary school this summer without any catch-up support.

The Government’s former catch-up tsar – who resigned over their inadequate recovery plan – has warned that inequality will be the Covid legacy in education stating that a “comprehensive, robust and long-term plan” is needed to tackle this.

Yet, the Conservatives current plans will see nearly two million pupils leave secondary education without support to recover lost learning or wellbeing over the next four years, hampering their development and putting their future ambitions at risk.

Labour’s own recovery plan promises to match children and young people’s ambition and optimism for their own futures. The £15bn package would give all schools the resources to deliver new activities – from sports and drama to music or book clubs – alongside targeted academic catch-up and small group tutoring for all who need it.

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said

“Young people across this country are hugely talented. As they receive their GCSE results today, they should be proud of all they have achieved in truly exceptional circumstances. 

“These young people are excited for their futures and every one of them must be allowed to reach their potential. Yet the Conservatives are failing to give children the support they need to catch up on lost learning. They risk holding back a generation of kids. 

“Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan would give every child the support to learn, play and develop after this pandemic, delivering them a brighter future. It’s time for the Conservatives to get behind Labour’s plan and match our ambition for children’s futures.”

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

“The Conservatives have treated children as an afterthought failing to keep them learning together in school with their friends.

“Ministers have now compounded this failure with an utterly inadequate recovery plan which will leave millions of children without any additional support, showing a shocking lack of ambition their future ambitions and life chances.

“Labour has set out a bold plan to invest in our children’s futures, compensating for the Conservatives’ failures over the last year, to ensure all children can learn, play and develop after the pandemic.”

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