School pupils in Milton Keynes missed out on more than 200,000 days of teaching due to Covid, according to The Department for Work and Education.
The statistics, published in the new Vital Signs report by MK Community Foundation, highlights the large number of pupils at state primary, secondary and special schools who missed out on face-to-face teaching over the autumn term last year, after having to self-isolate or shield due to Covid-19.
The report, which calls to further support young people with education and training, also highlighted a 21% increase from last year in referrals of young people needing support with their mental health especially among 15-17 year olds.
The report also found 17% of children were living in relative poverty in 2020 with the rate as high as 31% in some areas of Milton Keynes. There was also a 13% decrease in children attending nursery in the first quarter of 2021 with parents reluctant to send their children back to nurseries during the ongoing pandemic.
The annual Vital Signs report is published by grant making charity, MK Community Foundation, with the aim of rounding up the most current research on the communities of Milton Keynes, measuring several areas critical to the quality of life in the city. This year, the report is focused around Health and Wellbeing, Poverty and Disadvantage, Work and Education.
In response to the most recent findings, and to commemorate its 35th anniversary, the Foundation has launched a ‘Next Generation’ fund to help disadvantaged young people to access education, training and employment opportunities.
Ian Revell, MK Community Foundation chief executive, said: “Now more than ever we need to understand the Vital issues facing our community so we can focus our efforts to support those people, especially young people in need of support”
The report also highlights how MK Community Foundation is aligning its work with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, taking local action to support global change. The Community Foundation has prioritised seven of the 17 goals to focus on through funding, grants and internal activities.