From education to employment

Labour calls for urgent government action to “keep children learning”

Child Reading

Labour (@UKLabour) has today (Monday) called for urgent government action to “keep children learning” through supporting schools to remain open safely during the pandemic and deliver remote teaching to pupils self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, lost learning has been seriously impacting the education, health and wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The most recent data from the Department for Education shows over one in four schools, including nearly two thirds of secondary schools, have at least one pupil self-isolating. However, the government has cut many schools’ allocations of laptops for disadvantaged pupils preventing some from accessing remote teaching while isolating at home.

There is no additional financial support available to support schools in meeting the cost of coronavirus, and the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, has been clear that schools should meet these costs from their existing budgets.

During education questions in Parliament today, Kate Green, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, called on the Government to support “dedicated and desperate” teachers through delivering testing, equipment for remote teaching, and appropriate resources to “keep children learning” during the pandemic.

To ensure that schools are able to remain open safely and support pupils to learn remotely when they need to self-isolate, Labour is calling on the Government to:

  • Review financial support available for schools, ensuring schools can cover costs of cleaning and supply teachers when staff have to isolate;
  • Provide schools with equipment including laptops, so pupils self-isolating can learn remotely;
  • Publish transparent data on the numbers of children off school due to coronavirus; and
  • Set out a robust plan to ensure GCSE and A-level exams in 2021 are fair for all pupils.

Kate Green MP 100x100Kate Green MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“It is appalling that schools are getting less support from the Government now than they did back in March.

“The attainment gap has widened under this Government and without urgent action a generation of children risk being left behind by this pandemic.

“There has been a total lack of clarity or urgency from the Government on delivering desperately needed support for schools throughout the pandemic. They must now get a grip and deliver the world class education our children deserve.”

Related Articles