Many have poor digital access and face a litany of personal challenges. As a result, many are not able to learn properly. As the Sutton Trust has highlighted, just 8 per cent of teachers in the most disadvantaged state schools are receiving more than three quarters of work back. According to a study by UCL, one in five pupils are either doing no work or are doing less than an hour a day, and disadvantaged children fare the worst.
Without further action, an already wide attainment gap will be prised open even further. The EEF has calculated that school closures are likely to wipe out the progress we have made in reducing the attainment gap since 2011.
And that’s what makes the government’s recent intervention so timely. Today, it has announced a £1billion catch-up package to help children recover lost learning during lockdown.
£300 million will be available specifically for tutoring disadvantaged pupils. Suitable interventions will vary by case, but schools will be able to draw on a rich tapestry of tutoring organisations, including first-class CSJ alliance charities like Action Tutoring and The Tutor Trust.