Derbyshire councillor calls for more money to be spent on kids' summer holiday activities

A Derbyshire councillor has called for more money to be spent on summer holiday activities for kids, amid a mounting backlash over the government’s education recovery plan.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 1:46 pm

Pupils in England will be offered up to 100 million hours of tuition as part of a £1.4 billion catch-up programme unveiled on Wednesday, in a bid to make up for lost learning following months of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme has since drawn criticism from school leaders, with the goverment’s own education catch-up tsar, Sir Kevan Collins, resigning in protest over the funding package he described as falling “far short of what is needed”.

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Councillor Ross Shipman, Liberal Democrat Leader of North East Derbyshire Council, is calling for £1.4b to be spent on activities outside the classroom to boost learning and the economy.

Councillor Ross Shipman, Liberal Democrat group leader on North East Derbyshire District Council, has now called for the same amount to be spent on activities outside the classroom to boost learning and the economy at the same time, and avoiding putting unnecessary pressure on teaching staff to fulfil the education catch-up plan.

He said: “We have some fantastic places locally in the public and private sector that could be used for various types of learning, from historically buildings such as Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth and Bolsover Castle, as well as an outdoor activity centre at Pleasley Vale."

"A way to utilise this money would be to subsidise tickets, offer transport to those venues already free, supply packed lunches and work with the public sector and businesses to align their activities to the curriculum the children have been studying where possible."

"These funds would then not only help educate our children and offer them much more freedom to socialise outdoors, and it would go some way to helping these organisations get back on their feet after months of having no customers and visitors - a 'schools out, to help out scheme' if you will."

Sir Kevan was reported to have called for £15bn worth of funding and 100 extra hours of teaching per pupil before leaving his post.

Following criticism of the recovery package, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to reassure schools and parents pledging that more money would be "coming through" later down the line.

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