UK Labour party today (7) has warned that Conservatives’ “chaotic management” of the pandemic may undermine children’s future, citing a new analysis that shows an estimated 346 million days of face to face school have been lost this year due to pandemic.
Claiming that pupils in England have lost eight weeks of school teaching this year, Keir Starmer’s party has called on the UK government to reconsider its “pitiful” catch-up funding of £1.4 billion.
The opposition party has been urging the government to consider putting £15bn into catch-up funding, warning that the current package might leave many of the poorest pupils behind.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: “The Conservatives have treated children as an afterthought failing to keep them learning together in school with their friends.
“Ministers have now compounded this failure with an utterly inadequate recovery plan which will leave millions of children without any additional support, showing a shocking lack of ambition for their future ambitions and life chances,” the Labour peer said.
As per a new Labour analysis, around 560,000 year-11 students will leave secondary school this summer without any of the government’s catch-up support, while over the next four years nearly two million pupils will miss out on necessary recovery support, Independent reported.
The catch-up funding – which amounts to £6,000 per year for each primary school – was denounced by school leaders as “pitiful”.
Labour’s warning comes ahead of result days when over 782,000 pupils from year 11 and 13 will receive centre assessed A-level, GCSE and BTEC grades. Labour also alleged that the government has “failed to set out how it will ensure results represent a level playing field for pupils who have missed most time in school”.
Concerns are also being raised that the most advantaged pupils are set to benefit from the government’s system, reports said.