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3 June 2021

How England’s school catch-up funding falls £13.6bn short

The government has provided just £310 per pupil in England, compared to £2,500 per pupil in the Netherlands and £1,600 per pupil in the US.

By Patrick Scott

The government’s vow to help pupils in England catch up on learning lost during the pandemic is under scrutiny after the resignation of the man appointed to lead the recovery task force for schools. Kevan Collins quit after his proposed £15bn package of additional funds was rejected by the Treasury, with just £1.4bn awarded.


According to analysis by the Education Policy Institute, this represents just £50 of catch-up spending per pupil in England after the allocation of £400m for teacher development programmes. 

The additional spending brings the total committed to catch-up funds so far to £310 per pupil in England. This figure compares unfavourably with countries such as the Netherlands and the US, where catch-up funding totals £2,500 and £1,600 per pupil respectively.

More funding may be forthcoming in the Spending Review due later this year, but until then spending on recovering lost learning, which was described as the government’s “single biggest priority” by Boris Johnson in February, will be seen by many as insufficient. 

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