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Sir Kevan Collins, the Government’s Education Recovery Commissioner has resigned – Sector Response

Kevan Collins
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Sir Kevan Collins, the Government’s Education Recovery Commissioner has resigned on the day the Government announced it’s ‘£1 billion for a national tutoring revolution‘ scheme, which will see up to 100 million tutoring hours for children and young people across England to ‘catch up’ due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the Education Policy Institute analysis found that the government’s new education recovery package of £1.4bn amounts to around £50 extra per pupil per year – a fraction of the level of funding required to reverse learning loss seen by pupils since March 2020.

Rae Tooth, Chief Executive of Villiers Park highlighted that the £50 investment per pupil was far less than the recovery packages announced by the Netherlands and the US, for example (worth around £2,500 and £1,600 per head respectively).

What is the sector reaction to Sir Kevan Collins resignation? 

Kate Green MP 100x100Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to news that the Government’s Education Recovery Commissioner Kevan Collins’ has resigned, said: 

“Kevan Collins’ resignation is a damning indictment of the Conservatives’ education catch-up plan. 

“He was brought in by Boris Johnson because of his experience and expertise in education, but the Government have thrown out his ideas as soon as it came to stumping up the money needed to deliver them. 

“Labour has set out a plan to deliver the bold policies that will boost children’s recovery from the pandemic recognising that learning and wellbeing go hand-in-hand together. 

“Our children and their future ambitions and life chances depend on us getting this right. The Conservatives’ failure to deliver for children now could cost our country dearly long-term.”

Paul Whiteman 100x100Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“Sir Kevan Collins’ resignation tops off a truly awful day for the government and a deeply disappointing one for all those working in schools.

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“There is little point in appointing an internationally-respected education expert as catch-up Tsar if you fail to listen to what they have to say.

“The Treasury have refused to respond to the education crisis in the same way as they have the economic one. It is completely understandable that Sir Kevan chose not to become a pawn in whatever game the government is playing.”

mary boustedDr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“Sir Kevan Collins understood the enormity of the task ahead to support children and young people to recover from the disruption of the pandemic.

“He also saw that there are no quick or cheap fixes if we are to build an education system that supports high standards and strong mental health for everyone. Unfortunately, the government which brought him in to provide solutions has totally disregarded his vision.  

“This is the moment when Boris Johnson’s empty words on prioritising education clash with reality. With a Treasury unwilling to budge, and a Prime Minister and Education Secretary happy to stand back and do little or nothing, Kevan Collins’ valiant efforts to deliver a serious recovery package fell on the deafest of ears. This is a comprehensive failure of Government at a critical hour.” 

peter lampl100x100Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Executive Chair of the Sutton Trust said:

“Sir Kevan Collins is a warrior for social justice. From his role as Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation he is steeped in understanding as to what works in education. 

“That means it’s even sadder that government has not implemented what he advised.  The stakes here are very high.  Namely the future prosperity and health of our children.

“Given the derisory amount the government is prepared to invest in catch-up, Sir Kevan had no choice but to walk away.”

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