The emerging consensus to prioritise school reopenings is welcome. But how the return to school is managed is just as important as when. An optional return risks widening the gaps between disadvantaged students and their better-off peers. And even if the return to school is compulsory and soon, we will still need substantial additional support for poorer pupils.
What can policymakers do to make up for lost learning?
By the time the pandemic is over, most children across the UK will have missed over half a year of normal, in-person schooling. That’s likely to be more than 5% of their entire time in school.
MPs will debate a number of petitions today (16 Nov) relating to university tuition fees. The petitioners argue that the university strikes and now the COVID-19 outbreak have disrupted university education so much that students should be entitled to a reimbursement on their fees. While not all of the petitions are explicit on who should pay whom, the general presumption seems to be that it would be universities paying back whoever paid them in the first place.