New £700 million package launched by @BorisJohnson and @GavinWilliamson, focusing on an expansion of one-to-one and small group tutoring programmes, as well as supporting the development of disadvantaged children in early years settings, and summer provision for those pupils who need it the most. 

  • New £700 million plan laid out to help young people in England catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic
  • Further expansion of tutoring through the successful National Tutoring Programme, and the Tuition Fund for 16-19 year old students
  • More language support introduced for disadvantaged children in early years to support their development
  • Extra help for pupils most in need of support, including funding for summer schools and a new one-off Recovery Premium for schools to use in the best interests of their students

Following the announcement of the roadmap yesterday which laid out a cautious easing of restrictions, the government has today [Wednesday 24 February] announced further elements of the recovery support package so children and young people can catch up on missed learning and development due to the pandemic.

As the Prime Minister has said, getting children back into school has been the government’s top priority. From 8 March all children and students will return to face to face education in schools and college.

This will be supported with a new £700 million package, focusing on an expansion of one-to-one and small group tutoring programmes, as well as supporting the development of disadvantaged children in early years settings, and summer provision for those pupils who need it the most.

A new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, will be provided to schools use as they see best to support disadvantaged students.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Teachers and parents have done a heroic job with home schooling, but we know the classroom is the best place for our children to be.

“When schools re-open and face to face education resumes on 8 March, our next priority will be ensuring no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.

“This extensive programme of catch-up funding will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils, and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:  

“Our package of measures will deliver vital support to the children and young people who need it most, making sure everyone has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter their background. 

“I know that longer-term support over the length of this parliament will be vital to ensure children make up for lost learning. Our Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, will be engaging with teachers, school and college leaders and families over the coming weeks and months to develop our longer term plans.”  

The new recovery package for England includes:

  • A new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, to further support pupils who need it most. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, and the average secondary school around £22,000 extra. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their students, for example laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September.
  • £200 million (from the £300 million announced by the Prime Minister in January to expand our successful tutoring programmes) will fund:  
    • An expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for primary and secondary schools, which has been shown to boost catch up learning by much as 3-5 months at a time.
    • An extension of the 16-19 Tuition Fund for a further year to support more students in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects 
  • £200 million (including the final £100 million from the Prime Minister’s announcement) will be available to secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the government is suggesting they may want to initially target initially incoming year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country.  
  • £18m funding to support language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.  
  • A range of high-quality online resources will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays, will be provided by Oak National Academy, to help give pupils the confidence they are ready for the next academic year.  

As part of the Government’s commitment to develop a longer-term education recovery plan, Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, will lead the way on longer-term engagement work with teachers, school and college leaders, educational charities and families to review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the pandemic has had on learning.  

 Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins said:  

“The National Tutoring Programme has already put us on the right path by enabling tens of thousands of young people to benefit from the high-quality support that tutoring offers.  

“We know that ensuring all children and young people can make up for lost learning will be a longer-term challenge, and the range of measures announced today are an important next step.

“But this is just the beginning and I’ll be engaging with the sector, educational charities as well as families, to ensure this support is delivered in a way that works for both young people and the sector and to understand what more is needed to help recover students’ lost learning over the course of this parliament.”   

Sector Reaction to the new £700M Education recovery package

Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) said:

“School closures, as a result of the pandemic, have had a devastating impact on the poorest children and the youngest in society.

“The evidence shows how tutoring can play a significant part in the education recovery, so it is great the government has committed to funding tutoring - including through the NTP - beyond this academic year. We hope it will have a long-term role in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates.

“The NTP has been working with thousands of schools and children across the country during the latest school closures to deliver expert tutoring, and will continue to do so throughout the spring and into the summer.”

Today’s package of support also follows the delivery of more than one million laptops and tablets to the most disadvantaged children and young people across the country, as part of a £400 million government investment that will support schools, colleges and young people for years to come.  

Commenting on the government’s education recovery plans, Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

“We know that the impact of the past year of disrupted schooling will be long-lasting and wide-ranging. In fact, unless decisive action is taken some children are never going to catch up. Today’s package of measures is a promising start that will help get our children’s education back on track, but there are no quick fixes. Undoing the negative impact of the last 12 months will require an ambitious consistent multi-year recovery plan.

“The strongest evidence for accelerating learning is for increasing time for high-quality teaching. Targeted summer schools are one way to achieve this, and it’s good that schools will have flexibility to decide what will work best for them and their staff. However, it’s important to recognise the problem of teacher burnout that could be exacerbated by additional workload.

“It’s particularly welcome to see the government take-up our recommendation to increase the pupil premium through the Recovery Premium in the next school year. This will allow schools to target resources directly at disadvantaged pupils, who we know are most likely to have lost out.

“Tutoring can play a significant part in the recovery, so it’s great that the government has committed to funding tutoring - including through the National Tutoring Programme - beyond this academic year. This should help close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates.”

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

“Despite schools working tirelessly to provide remote education, we know that children’s learning has been disrupted as a result of multiple lockdowns. So this is a welcome provision of funding and resources.

“It’s important to recognise that recovery won’t be a quick or easy job. Fortunately, there already exists a wealth of knowledge within the profession about how to narrow achievement gaps. We need to trust schools to put in place a long-term approach based on what they know about the needs of their pupils. We are pleased that the government has recognised this expertise and is not prescribing exactly how they use this funding. This is a significant first step to help schools tackle the challenge at hand.

“Summers schools will be of value for some pupils but it will be important not to overwhelm students. Recovery cannot happen in a single summer.”

Commenting on the government's new catch-up package, Natalie Perera, Chief Executive of the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said:

"While any additional support for schools is welcome, the government's package announced today is not enough to support pupils to catch up on their learning and to provide wellbeing activities for pupils of all ages. The new Recovery Premium is a step in the right direction, but £6,000 for the average primary school and £22,000 for the average secondary is much too modest to make a serious difference.

"The Prime Minister has acknowledged that a much more ambitious and long-term education recovery plan is needed. When this emerges, later this year, it must be bold enough to tackle the scale of lost learning, particularly for more disadvantaged pupils who are at risk of falling further behind."

Responding to the Government’s new £700m package of catch-up funding, Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, said:

"This must be seen as just the start of a hugely ambitious drive over the next decade to level up the education playing field. Our research shows a whole generation could be scarred by this pandemic. This is our opportunity to think big, establishing the national tutoring programme as a permanent fixture of the education system.

"This also has to be a dual approach outside and inside the school gates. That means ensuring all pupils get the basic entitlements from internet access to basic meals. The evidence is clear: we have to combat inequality in all its forms to safeguard social mobility."

Responding to the announcement of the Government on catch up plans for pupils, including funding to run summer schools and expand tutoring provision, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The disruption that the pandemic has caused has had a profound impact, not only on the educational progress and achievement of many children and young people, but also on their emotional and mental wellbeing.

“It is important that as part of efforts to build a sustained and sustainable recovery from the pandemic, substantially more investment will be needed to provide increased capacity to meet the needs of children, young people and families.

“The announcement of additional funding from the Government today, whilst welcome, is only a drop in the ocean given the profound impact the pandemic has already had in children’s lives. Education recovery cannot be done on the cheap or at the expense of teachers and support staff in schools who are already working around the clock.

“Education recovery cannot be based on trying to squeeze more out of an education system and an education workforce that is already at breaking point as they continue to deal with the unprecedented and exceptional challenges of the pandemic. The Government must now commit to recruiting substantially more staff to provide an ambitious programme that will deliver the education recovery that all children and young people deserve.

“Today's announcement is thin on detail and it will be important for the Government to engage with the NASUWT and other stakeholders on the further development of these programmes. In particular, Ministers must provide prompt assurance that all programmes will be designed and implemented in a way that respects the full range of teachers' and school leaders' statutory and contractual employment rights.”


  • This funding will result in indicative Barnett consequentials for the Devolved Administrations of approximately £70m from this announcement in 2021-22. This will be confirmed at the Budget.

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