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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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Lack of government investment harmed pandemic recovery says NAHT

Responding to a new Education Policy Institute report which finds girls’ reading and maths in particular were negatively impacted by the pandemic, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the school leaders’ union, the NAHT said:

“The pandemic undoubtedly disrupted children’s education – many missed months of in-person lessons and lost their routine. Schools worked incredibly hard to minimise the disruption, but there is no replacement for in-person learning. We also know that inequalities have also been made worse by the cost-of-living crisis, heaping pressure on schools and families.

“Teachers and leaders are continuing to pull out all the stops to support children to catch up, and whilst we are pleased to see that there has been a small closing of the gap for pupils with SEND, it is concerning to see the impact of the pandemic on girls' attainment as well as those pupils with English as an additional language.

“Schools urgently need more support – we were bitterly disappointed that the government did not announce more money for schools in the budget and did not properly fund the Covid education recovery plan proposed by its own tsar, Sir Kevan Collins. The government has also reduced subsidies for tuition, and financial pressures on schools are now so great many schools have had to withdraw this offer to children.

“Moving forward, we would like to see the government increase investment in our schools, and in the community services like social care and mental health, which are vital in helping pupils progress through their education.”

First published 19 March 2024