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COVID-19: Treasury gives low marks to Gavin Williamson’s school remedial plan | Politics News

After months of missed schooling and disruption for parents and teachers, the catch-up plan is over – and it was quickly poorly graded.

A sum of £ 1 billion is spent on individual and small group tutoring, an intervention which is widely recognized as an effective way to make up for lost school time, if well organized.

I filmed with students at a public school in Staffordshire last year that had been offering private tutoring online for years, helping a small number of underprivileged students, with fantastic results.

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Williamson “absolutely” trusts the education czar

But it is clear from discussions with those concerned that a much more ambitious plan has been proposed by the Department of Education – costing £ 13 billion, I’m told – and the Treasury took the carving knife.

A source from the Treasury made it clear they didn’t think the plans were fully made, saying “it’s fair to the kids and the taxpayer that we know what we’re buying before we spend.”

In other words, they felt the proposals did not justify the hefty price tag – about a quarter of the schools’ annual budget – and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson could not convince them otherwise.

Mr Williamson, who did not deny he had asked for a lot more money, spent the morning insisting that a £ 1.4bn investment in education is a lot, especially since it builds on last year’s £ 1.7bn.

Meanwhile, teachers’ unions and education political groups present it as a “wet firecracker” and a “huge disappointment”.

Even the government’s catch-up education czar, Sir Kevan Collins, was lukewarm.

A longer school day – one of the ideas championed by Sir Kevan – has been put on hold for now, although Mr Williamson himself has expressed his enthusiasm for the benefits of it.

It is certainly true that despite the agreement on the need to repair the …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-02 11:17:00

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