Exclusive: DfE won't say where catch-up cash came from

DfE doesn't rule out the possibility that Covid recovery cash has been drawn from existing education budgets

Amy Gibbons

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The Department for Education is refusing to say whether its latest multi-million-pound Covid recovery fund is new money from the Treasury.

Yesterday morning the government announced a new Covid catch-up package, said to be worth £705 million. However £300 million of that is money the prime minister had already announced last month.

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Tes has been asking the DfE since Tuesday night to specify whether the remaining £405 million is new cash from the Treasury, or whether it has been taken from existing education budgets.

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When pressed on that point again this morning, the department said the level of detail requested by Tes about where the fund was coming from would be among information published by the Treasury at defined budgetary moments.

Asked if that meant that the £405 million was not new money from the Treasury and might have been taken from existing education budgets, the DfE said it had nothing to add.

Earlier this month, the government’s education recovery commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, told Tes that he expected the Treasury to find more money for education catch-up than the £1.3 billion already announced.

The department also told Tes that the £302 million "recovery premium" would be distributed to the schools on the basis of the number of pupils they had eligible for the pupil premium.

It said further guidance on how the cash will be weighted will be published at a later date.

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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