Catherine has used an Opposition Day Debate in Parliament secured by the Labour Party on funding for the catch-up premium to call for a more ambitious support package for North East pupils.

The Government have announced a education recovery package of £1.4bn –  less than 10% of the £15bn that Sir Kevan Collins, the Government’s former education recovery chief, along with many other education experts, have called  for.

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.

In her speech, Catherine outlined that “the Government has failed to show the ambition needed to meet the scale of the education challenge. It must change course and invest in our children now – failure to do so is not only wrong, but it’s a false economy, and it is future generations that will pay the price in terms of lost earnings and lost opportunities, and our country will be poorer for it.”

Following her contribution Catherine added “The Government’s plans are not the ambitious response pupils, parents and teachers in Newcastle and the North East need to see. With a higher proportion of long-term disadvantaged children in the North East, I am very concerned that we are at the higher risk of falling further behind due to the pandemic.

“The Government needs to step up and invest now, not doing so could damage our economy and our children’s futures for a generation.”