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Catch up funding ignores two thirds of 16 to 18 year olds

19 June 2020

The Department for Education have announced a billion pound funding for a COVID19 catch-up plan to tackle the impact of lost teaching time. Despite promising to support young people, it fails to cover the more than two thirds of England's 16 to 18 year olds who study in colleges. In response, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: "There are a million 16 to 18 year olds in England, and almost 700,000 of them study in colleges. They deserve as much support to overcome the challenges thrown up by COVID19 as every other age group, including their peers in schools. That’s why we have been working with officials to help design a funding boost for colleges to support their students. The government is right to take action to help school pupils catch up for lost time and to focus on those who are already disadvantaged but it is indefensible to overlook the needs of the 700,000 in colleges. I expect their exclusion from this announcement to be followed rapidly by clarification on the funding and support for college students. We are in contact with the Department for Education and hope to have this rectified as soon as possible.”