The UK Government’s will is to catch-up schools programs, especially for disadvantaged households after the Covid-19 crisis.
The UK on a budget ?
Rishi Sunak, the Conservative Chancellor, had promised to support British family and build a "stronger" economy after Covid-19. He insisted on willing to give families :
"The tools to build a better life for themselves"
The chancellor announced a further £3 billion for training and skills. This includes £1.6 billion to boost college funding for 16 to 19-year-olds and £830 million to enhance existing colleges in the country. The government is also planning to create up to 30,000 more schools places for disabled children and special educational needs. For this, £2.6 billion will be allocated to them over the next three years.
Mr. Sunak remains the target of a lot of critics, such as Sir Keir Starmer’s who is the leader of the Labour Party :
"Each of these problems is down to 11 years of Conservative failure. And while the Chancellor and the Prime Minister like to pretend they are different, the Budget they’ve delivered today will only make things worse".
The last 1st of November, Nadhim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for Education affirmed all the measures that will be taken during his speech to MPs in the Parliament :
"The announcement last week by the chancellor of my department’s spending plan : schools, skills, families. For schools that means a cash increase of £1500 per pupil by 2024/25 compared to 2019. As well as almost £2 billion further to catch up on lost learning. For skills, that £3.8 billion investment over this Parliament to make sure people have high quality training and education, opening the door to good jobs and driving forward our plan for growth. And for families, that’s support for the most disadvantaged boosting childcare and ensuring that none is left behind".
Lengthening school hours : a bet for a stronger attainment ?
After the pandemic, the question of lengthening the hours of classed, was raised. It was even in the heart of a controversy during the debates. The Conservative secretary for Education wants to emphasize on the students who don’t have the least time to recover from the crisis. He underlined the importance of the amount of £800 million for the 16- to 19-year-olds like the Chancellor pledged, and an additional 40 hours of education. He also mentioned that the £1 billion will go into secondary and primary schools, which makes the total £5 billion of recovery money. And he ensured that he will look at some "excellent examples" of schools that lengthen days of lectures.
According to the Education Policy Institute, adding more hours of classes increases educational attainment from two to three months, especially amongst disadvantaged pupils. The department for culture, media, sports, states that it indeed increases the numeracy by 29%, which would be improving the British educational attainment.
Kate Green, the Shadow Education Secretary, did not share the same view :
"Labour believes students should get additional time in school for breakfast clubs, targeted learning support and new activities for every child as part of our recovery plan. We believe the best way to support children’s recovery is time with friends and teachers learning new skills, not simply extended hours in the classroom."
So far, the average school time is by 6.5 hours in the UK.
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