Catch-up tsar wants teachers to increase learning time

Teachers will be asked to increase learning time for pupils as part of the Covid recovery plan, says Sir Kevan Collins

Amy Gibbons

Covid: Teachers will be asked to increase learning time, says catch-up tsar Sir Kevan Collins

Teachers will be asked to increase learning time for pupils as part of the education recovery plan, the government's Covid catch-up tsar has said.

Sir Kevan Collins, who was appointed to the position by the prime minister last week, said that "we're going to have to ask teachers to increase learning time for children" and go back over missed topics.


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Last week, the government announced the appointment of Sir Kevan as its education recovery commissioner to lead a comprehensive programme of catch-up aimed at young people who have lost out on learning during the pandemic.

Covid recovery plan for schools: 'Extra hours for children to be together'

Sir Kevan will be leading the programme after 30 years in the education sector. Most recently, he was chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation.

In a BBC interview today, he said that the Covid recovery plan should not just be about adding extra hours of study, but that children's broader needs must be taken into account.

"I think we need to think about the extra hours not only for learning, but for children to be together, to play, to engage in competitive sport, for music, for drama because these are critical areas which have been missed in their development," Sir Kevan said.

Robert Halfon, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee, told Tes at the time the appointment was announced that he hoped the plan would extend beyond the end of the pandemic to be used to help pupils catch up in the long term.

"This is a really important step forward and suggests the government really means business to help pupils catch up, not just for coronavirus," he said.

"The £1 billion [of additional funding announced] was important but it was just a fund for catch-up – this looks like as serious long-term plan for it. There is now a recognition from Downing Street that school closures are the four horsemen of the education apocalypse."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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