The government’s education catch-up chief was on the brink of resignation after seeing his proposals for a £15bn programme rejected by the government, the Guardian understands.
Sources close to Sir Kevan Collins said he was dismayed that his long-awaited proposals were watered down to a £1.4bn offer for schools in England, announced by the Department for Education on Wednesday.
The education recovery commissioner, who was appointed in February to oversee catch-up plans in schools in England following the pandemic, is understood to have told the government that a vastly bigger sum in the region of £15bn would be required to meet the needs of pupils who have lost months of learning due to Covid disruption.
His future in the role remains uncertain and he did not respond to attempts to reach him.
A former teacher who went on to be the director of children’s services and chief executive in Tower Hamlets, east London, Collins signalled his disappointment at the limited scale of the government’s latest catch-up offer in the Department for Education’s announcement earlier on Tuesday.
“Supporting every child to get back on track will require a sustained and comprehensive programme of support,” he said. “The investments in teaching quality and tutoring announced today offer evidence-based support to a significant number of our children and teachers. But more will be needed to meet the scale of the challenge.”
A source told the Guardian: “He was expecting to see the whole package through. He must be very personally disappointed I expect.”
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