From education to employment

Two million pupils to leave school without catch-up support

Kate Green

@KateGreenSU – Labour demands Conservatives match ambition for children’s futures as analysis shows two million children will leave school without ‘catch-up’ support 

Labour has today [Thursday] warned that nearly two million children will leave school without any catch-up support over the next four years, as the Party calls on the Conservatives to match Labour’s ambition for children’s futures. 

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, is warning that this ‘feeble’ recovery plan risks setting back the life chances of a generation of young people, and will call on the Government to match Labour’s ambition for children’s futures by supporting the Party’s £15bn Children’s Recovery Plan at a panel event on opportunity and social mobility in Covid Britain. 

Throughout the pandemic Labour has warned that children have been treated as an afterthought, but the Party’s new analysis shows the extent of the Conservative’s failure to invest in supporting every child post-pandemic to recover lost learning and social development. 

This year alone the Conservatives’ failure to act could see over 560,000 year 11 pupils leaving school without support to recover lost learning or development. Even those pupils who do receive academic support under government plans are set to get less than an hour of tutoring a fortnight despite missing 115 days – well over half a year – of normal face-to-face school. 

In contrast, Labour’s Plan which builds on the understanding that children make academic progress when they are happy and well-supported, would give all schools the right resources to deliver a new range of activities – from sports and drama to music or book clubs – alongside targeted academic catch-up and small group tutoring for all who need it. This reflects the priorities of parents who have highlighted that their children’s social development and wellbeing is their top priority in the post-pandemic recovery. 

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

“The Conservatives have treated children as an afterthought throughout the pandemic and are now neglecting them in our recovery.

“As the number of children out of school spirals due to the Johnson variant, thousands of pupils will be leaving secondary school without receiving any support to recover lost learning or development.  

“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 play, learn and develop post-pandemic. It’s time for the Conservatives’ to get behind Labour’s plan and match our ambition for children’s futures.”




  • Nearly two million children leaving school without support:

Over the next four years pupils receiving catch-up tutoring and mentoring:

2020/21: 250,000 pupils

2021/22: 776,000 pupils

2022/23: 825,000 pupils

2023/24: 825,000 pupils


Assuming the pupils receiving this support are distributed evenly in proportion to the number of pupils in each school year, over the next four years nearly 2 million could leave without any support:


Total pupils leaving secondary school

Estimated proportion of these pupils receiving support

Estimated leaving without support
























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