Stockport MP Navendu Mishra has accused the Conservatives of neglecting children’s futures after announcing a recovery package worth 10 times less than their education catch-up ‘tsar’, Sir Kevan Collins said was needed.
Speaking in an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons, Mishra stressed that
“Greater Manchester where my own constituency of Stockport is based, faces one of the highest rates in the country for ‘persistently disadvantaged’ children, and this situation has worsened dramatically during the pandemic, with research by the Education Policy Institute recently revealing that the attainment gap between poorer pupils and their more affluent peers has stopped closing for the first time in a decade.
In my own local authority of Stockport, this means that the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children ranges from six months at early years level, to 10 months by the time they’re at primary school, and almost two years by the time they reach secondary school.”
Children across the North West region have missed an estimate of 103 days of in-person school – over half a normal school year – but the Conservatives’ meagre education ‘catch-up’ plan provides just 91p per child for every day of in-person school missed.
The Conservatives’ plan includes nothing children’s wellbeing or social development, despite parents saying this is their top concern after the isolation of lockdown, while reinvesting in their failing tutoring programme which is currently reaching less than 2% of school pupils.
In contrast, Labour’s new Children’s Recovery Plan would harness children’s excitement at being back in school with their friends by creating new opportunities for young people to play, learn and develop.
Mishra’s full speech can be read here: Investing in Children and Young People