Education reopening and catch-up support across the UK


This report from UK think tank the EPI compares the education catch up plans of the four UK nations, and examines how they previously approached reopening.

The Education Policy Institute has published a new report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which compares the education catch up plans of the four UK nations, and examines how they previously approached the reopening of schools. The report finds that the catch-up plans of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer insufficient support for pupils, and are unlikely to address the scale of learning loss following the pandemic. The funding directly committed in Scotland for catch-up is shown to be the most generous on a per pupil basis, followed by England. Both countries offer catch up funding per pupil that is over twice that of the support offered by Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the catch-up programmes of Wales and Northern Ireland are far better targeted at their most disadvantaged pupils, who according to research, have seen their education suffer the most over the course of the pandemic. In these two countries, around half of catch-up funding is allocated to poorer pupils. English and Scottish programmes, in contrast, are poorly targeted – with a lower proportion of funds directed at their most disadvantaged pupils. As all UK nations move closer towards reopening schools, the new research also examines how all four governments fared during the last period of reopening in the autumn term, in order to understand the lessons that each country can learn. This includes an assessment of support for the most vulnerable children, how local outbreaks and closures were dealt with, and approaches to early years education – each of which differed greatly among the UK nations.

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