The prime minister has backed calls for all teachers to draw up a catch-up plan for each of their pupils before the end of term.
Speaking at Prime Minster’s Questions this lunchtime, Boris Johnson said it was “vital” that pupils received catch-up on the education they have lost as a result of school closures.
And he backed the call from Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP (Conservative, The Cotswolds) who said children’s education had suffered over the last few months.
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He said: “Would he [the prime minister] consider therefore doing two things: firstly to ask all teachers to set all their children and pupils a catch-up plan before the summer, and secondly would he ask all headteachers to get a recover plan so that everybody can go back in September?”
The prime minister replied: “Yes indeed Mr Speaker, and it’s absolutely crucial that we do that [and] we have a big catch-up plan that my right honourable friend the education secretary is going to be announcing very shortly.
“It’s vital that kids get the catch-up on the education they have lost but even more vital that the kids who can go to school should go to school. And wouldn’t it be a fine thing if we heard from all sides of the house that schools are safe to go to rather than the wibble wobble that we’ve heard from the opposition this morning.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said it had advised headteachers to plan for two scenarios; one in which all pupils return full-time from September, and one in which they attend on a rota basis in order to maintain small group sizes in line with the existing government guidance.
He said: "The decision on which scenario happens will depend on public health advice and any consequent changes in the government guidance. We have to say that we are doing this in the dark without any input from the government but it is obviously important for schools and colleges to be able to plan ahead. We really do require a much greater sense of strategy and urgency from the government.”