Commenting on the £1bn education funding announced by Government, Isle of Wight’s Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union, said,
“This billion pounds for schools in England is a welcome recognition of the importance of education.
“However, if social distancing is still required in September a full time return to education means Government will have to find extra education staff and extra teaching spaces. This will take time. If this is to be targeted support with extra tuition, then the key to academic success will be good communication between present staff and the extra staff tutoring.
“The Government must urgently engage with unions and others in the sector to plan for such a return – the National Education Union’s 10-point-plan is a good place to start.
“This new money appears to be focussed on the academic and we are conscious that there is and will be a huge need to ensure that broader pupil needs are supported. A recent SchoolDash pupil survey indicated feelings of loneliness, boredom and poor ‘life satisfaction’ are widespread.
“We need a detailed plan supporting their mental health, facilitating more social interaction, encouraging more physical activity and improving the happiness and promoting the general mental health well-being of young people.
“Right now, the Government should be working on a Summer Holiday Local Offer, on delivering broadband to all those children who still need it and reading books to all children in receipt of free school meals.”