We must not prioritise attainment over trauma
The government launched its £1 billion catch-up plan last month (Department for Education, 2020). The plan involves £650 million in funding shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020-2021 academic year.
The money is expected to be spent on small group tuition and is aimed at all pupils in state education who need it, regardless of their income or background. This is accompanied by a £350 million national tutoring programme aimed at increasing access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.
While funding of this magnitude must be welcomed, we are in danger of beginning the next academic year with a language of deficit and catch-up; we are in danger of arriving in September with a message that students are behind and that ‘catching up’ on their academic performance matters above all else. The pressure this message will generate could be extremely damaging to young people who are already suffering after their lockdown experiences.
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