UK Covid live news: ‘more is required’ to tackle lost pupil learning, says Gavin Williamson

UK Covid live news: ‘more is required’ to tackle lost pupil learning, says Gavin Williamson

Latest updates: education secretary pressed over further funding after unions criticise £1.4bn announcement for English pupils

10.04am BST

Pupils will be offered an extra 100m hours of tuition under post-pandemic catch-up plans unveiled today – but the government faced immediate criticism of the £1.4bn programme, with its own tsar warning “more will be needed”.

After months of unprecedented school closures, £1.4bn will be spent on up to 6m sets of 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged pupils as well as an expansion of an existing fund for helping 16- to 19-year-olds with subjects such as English and maths, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

Related: Pupils in England to be offered 100m hours of tuition in Covid catch-up plan

9.52am BST

The 1.4 billion announced for the catch-up programme for pupils in England is “pitiful”, a school leaders’ union has said.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told Sky News:

It’s pretty dispiriting, here I am as somebody who is leading a trade union, and for all my colleagues it feels this morning as if we have got higher ambitions for the nation’s children and young people than the education secretary.

It’s pretty pitiful, only yesterday we were hearing stories about extending the school day and even if some people disagreed with it, at least there was a sense of ‘let’s do something radical, let’s do something different’.

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