EPI report on catch up plans across the nations - AoC responds

18 Feb 2021

Responding to the report, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said:

“Today’s report from EPI shines a light on the impact of young people’s lost learning over the past 12 months, the threat this poses of widening existing inequalities and the need for an increase in funding to respond. We welcome this and are pleased to see similar focus from the Children’s Commissioner as well as the appointment of Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner.

The report focuses mostly on schools, but the issues are the same for students continuing their education into college this September who will need additional support through the transition and beyond to ensure that they are ready to embark on the next stage of their education. AoC is suggesting that catch up funding should be allocated on the basis of measures of deprivation to ensure that the resources are targeted effectively.

Centrally planned initiatives such as the National Tutoring Programme for school-aged children don’t work so well for many post-16 students who need specialist learning to support their progression into employment or further study. A range of provision including access to practical learning settings, catch-up and support for personal development and wellbeing will be required. Colleges should have the flexibility to decide who needs support, what they need and how best to provide it because the disruption will have affected different students in varying ways.

Young people face huge new challenges as they prepare for employment or Higher Education. Those planning on finding jobs this summer will face a cut-throat labour market with intense competition as unemployment rises. Lost learning will not have helped young people be ready or confident for that and it may have impeded their competency, making them less attractive to prospective employers. More work needs to be started now to reduce that impact.

You can read the full report 'Education reopening and catch-up support across the UK' here