Council pledges free small group tutoring for every child who needs it in Milton Keynes
The move will help children catch up after lockdown disruptions
A Children's Recovery Plan has been launched by the Labour leaders of MK Council to help youngsters catch up on parts of the education they missed during lockdown.
The plan pledges small group tutoring for all who need it, along with breakfast clubs and new activities available for every child.
Labour say there will be "quality" mental health support in every school in MK and they will also ensure that no child in MK goes hungry.
The councillors have spoken out today following the resignation of the Conservative’s Education Recovery Commissioner Kevan Collins in protest at the government’s plan to offer just a tenth of the support he recommended
In his resignation letter, he wrote that it is not “credible that a successful recovery can be achieved with a programme of support of this size”.
Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan however, proposes a programme for all children to ‘play, learn and develop’ as the post-covid catch up continues.
They say 99% of children are receiving no government catch-up tutoring across the country – the equivalent of 48,961 children missing out .
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet member for children and families said: “Children in Milton Keynes have had two years of their education disrupted by Covid. That’s a huge loss for them and a massive responsibility on the rest of us to help them catch up. Failing now will leave an entire generation scarred for life.
“A successful recovery is going to take a serious plan, that’s why Labour is proposing a major programme that leaves no child behind – the same size as the programme recommended by the government’s own education recovery commissioner."
She added: “Yet again this government has let our children down. They have offered just a tiny fraction of the support our children need and the result is that 99% of children have received no government catch-up tutoring whatsoever. That’s just not good enough.
“But Milton Keynes Labour won’t just stand aside – that’s why we’re not just backing Labour’s national recovery plan - in our new Council Plan we are committing to support catch-up clubs to help children and young people catch up with learning and social skills”
Kate Green, the Shadow Education Secretary said Labour’s £15bn plan – in line with Kevan Collin’s own proposals and informed by the Bright Future Taskforce of education experts – delivers the bold action that teachers, parents, children, education experts and employers have said is needed.
This one-off investment is dwarfed by the estimated cost to the economy and the taxpayer of not supporting children’s recovery, which the Education Policy Institute has said could be up to £420bn – almost 30 times more than the cost of Labour’s package.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Children are excited to be back in the classroom with their friends and hungry to learn. After such disruption, we owe it to them to match their energy and motivation, with the support and resources they need to thrive, not just whilst they catch-up, but for their school careers and beyond.
“Our plans deliver this, by funding activities to combine learning and play while investing in our teachers and staff, Labour will ensure that children not only recover, but are supported to push on. In contrast, the Conservatives are showing no ambition for children’s futures.
“Labour’s innovative plans, informed by parents, teachers and children, will deliver not just a world-class education for all based on play and social development, but fulfilled and confident young people.”
“We must match the ambition children have for their own futures and put them at the heart of our national recovery. This is an investment that our children’s futures and the future of our country depends on.”