Commenting on the Government’s education recovery proposals, Catherine stated “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor need to get real about the scale of the education challenge and invest in our children’s’ future now.
“The Government’s £1.4bn education recovery proposals amount to less than 10% of the package that the Government’s own former education chief, Sir Kevan Collins, called for. It is damming that Sir Kevan resigned after he was initially told education recovery was an essential part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and funding would not be an issue.
“These proposals are not the ambitious response pupils, parents and teachers in Newcastle and the North East needed to see. The Government needs to trust headteachers to determine the right way to support their pupils, and ensure they have the funding to do so.
“The North East has a higher proportion of long-term disadvantaged children, and the least well off are the highest risk of falling further behind due to the pandemic.
“Parents and teachers have been left bitterly disappointed. The Labour Party has set out a £14.7bn Children’s Recovery Plan that would properly fund support for pupils, increase mental health support in schools, fund new activities before and after school and extend free school meals.
“By not investing now, the Government is only stifling our potential, causing damage to our economy, and our children’s futures, for a generation.”