Rugby MP backs £4.9bn plan to help teenagers catch up with school hours lost to pandemic

Mr Pawsey says he supports the new measures

Mark Pawsey in Parliament.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has spoken in Parliament to back a plan to provide 40 extra hours of lessons for 16-19 year olds to help them catch up with lost learning.

The Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, updated Parliament on the return of pupils to schools following the Christmas break and highlighted a number of measures which have been put in place to keep staff and children safe.

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This includes 350,000 new carbon dioxide monitors to help monitor ventilation and the expansion of the vaccine programme to 12–15-year-olds, who can now book their second jabs.

Speaking in response to the Secretary of State’s statement, Mr Pawsey thanked teachers and education professionals for the work which they have done in enabling children to remain in classrooms learning.

He also highlighted the importance of helping those pupils who have fallen behind over the past two years and asked the Secretary of State what work was being undertaken to ensure they get the support which they need.

In his reply to Mark, Nadhim Zahawi spoke about the additional £4.9 billion which is being provided to provide 16–19-year-olds an additional 40 hours of education, with a particular focus on disadvantaged students.

This will be provided through 6 million tutoring sessions and the Secretary of State encouraged parents to speak to schools about how these sessions will be delivered.

Speaking after the Secretary of State’s statement, Mr Pawsey said: "It is extremely welcome that the government has brought forward additional funding to help those children who have fallen behind because of the disruption of the last two years.

"Ensuring that pupils preparing for their exams this summer are offered catch-up teaching is rightly a priority for the government and the £4.9 billion the Secretary of State has spoken about will mean that this can happen.

“I have spoken to teachers and pupils here in Rugby and Bulkington in recent months and it is absolutely clear to me that the best place for children to be is in the classroom learning.

"This is a view that has been shared by the teachers I have spoken to, but it is also important that we give schools the resources which they need to remain open safely.

"I therefore believe it is great news that the Secretary of State confirmed to Parliament he will be providing those resources and I will continue to support this important work.”