ASCL responds to EPI school catch-up plan

06/05/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the report of the Education Policy Institute, ‘Preventing the disadvantage gap from increasing during and after the Covid-19 pandemic’
 
Commenting on the report of the Education Policy Institute, ‘Preventing the disadvantage gap from increasing during and after the Covid-19 pandemic’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“These are excellent proposals, and we particularly endorse the idea of doubling the pupil premium for disadvantaged children in certain year groups, and in early years.

“In fact, we would very much like to see this extended to other year groups because learning is a continuum and the shutdown will impact on every stage and age.

“We are very pleased that the Education Policy Institute has said that schools should be allowed to make their own, evidence-based judgements, about how best to use this extra funding for disadvantaged pupils.

“Schools know their pupils well, and they are best-placed to make decisions over what will be effective.

“In this context, the idea of a national teacher volunteer scheme, targeted at retired and returning teachers, who may want to give their time, could work well as a resource on which schools can draw.

“The Education Policy Institute’s focus on supporting FE colleges and 16-19 providers with an education for recovery package, is also an excellent and much-needed initiative.

“It is important that schools and colleges are left with the time and space to focus on the huge challenge of this ongoing crisis, rather than being burdened with the full weight of the accountability system, and we agree Ofsted inspections should be suspended until at least January 2021.”