Covid catch-up: Only 21% of teachers see tutors as key 

And 98% of teachers don't see longer school days or changed term times as 'worth considering', NEU says after poll of 10k

Covid catch-up: Only 21 per cent of teachers 'see tutors as important' in recovering pupils' lost learning during Covid school closures

Only one in five teachers thinks catch-up tutors are an "important" way of helping pupils to recover learning lost during the Covid pandemic, according to a survey by the NEU teaching union.

The government made £350 million available last June for the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) as part of £1.7 billion in catch-up funding.

But the NEU survey reveals that a large majority of teachers (82 per cent) see "flexibility in the curriculum” as what is important for children to recover lost learning.

The findings have been released ahead of the NEU’s three-day annual conference, which starts today.

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In the survey of more than 10,000 teachers, almost all (98 per cent) of respondents said they do not believe extended school days or changing term lengths "are worth considering at this time" – both strategies reported to be being considered by the government.

Covid catch-up: Teachers don't support longer school days

However, some 49 per cent of teachers welcomed the greater public recognition of the needs of disadvantaged pupils and 46 per cent found smaller class sizes rewarding.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “If the government is serious about building back better, then they should take on board these views.

“Education professionals have been on the frontline, either virtual or physical, throughout the last 12 months and it is their insights on what has worked best that should be taken forward.”

More than a third of teachers (37 per cent) appreciated the greater levels of communication they had experienced with families by telephone and video call, and 57 per cent said online parents’ evenings had been a good innovation.

The survey suggests that around two in three teachers believe pupils should be supported through sport and exercise (68 per cent) and increased creative and practical learning (66 per cent).

The poll, of mainly teachers, school leaders and some support staff, shows that just 2 per cent believe lengthening school days or term times is an important way of supporting pupils who have missed in-person learning.

Only 21 per cent said they thought tuition programes were important.

The survey, of nearly 10,700 NEU members in early March, asked school and college staff to reflect on the benefits that they feel have emerged from the pandemic and what practices should be retained.


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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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