Covid catch-up may mean more hours and shorter holidays

Education select committee warns lost learning 'disaster' for millions of pupils could also mean weekend work for schools
10th November 2020, 6:09pm

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Covid catch-up may mean more hours and shorter holidays

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/covid-catch-may-mean-more-hours-and-shorter-holidays
Lost Learning During Covid

Teachers may need to work on weekends or have less holiday time to help pupils catch up lost learning from the pandemic, a leading MP has suggested.

Robert Halfon, chair of the Commons' Education Select Committee, told BBC's World at One that teachers might need to work longer hours to ensure pupils could make up lost progress from the coronavirus lockdown.

He said the government's £1 billion catch-up programme to help pupils make up lost learning from the pandemic might mean staff working over the weekends.


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"It may be that schools will need to cut holidays or have longer hours in order to make sure that children catch-up," he said. "Of course these are very difficult decisions that will require extra funding."

He added: "The lack of learning of millions of pupils was a disaster and has been a disaster despite the incredible efforts of many teachers and support staff from schools across the country.

"We know that 2.3 million children did barely any learning at all and the results of the Ofsted report are all to see, it shows what really has been going on.

"This is why the catch-up that is needed is so important. We may need to take difficult decisions in terms of schools having longer hours, working on weekends and having shorter holidays - of course funded, absolutely - to make sure that these children catch up in every part of our education system."

He said that the education committee also needed to be sure how far behind disadvantaged children were, as well as whether there were significant regional disparities across the country, in the light of Ofsted's report published today, which showed most pupils have regressed during the lockdown

Mr Halfon also said that he thought the summer exams should go ahead, "If exams take place, it's better for the children," he said. "They have something to work towards, there's a fair means of assessment."

 

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