Wednesday briefing: Summer time to catch up on missed lessons

Wed, 24 February 2021, 6:33 am

<img src="–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/–~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/; alt="<span>Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA
Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Top story: Teachers concerned over ‘big bang’ reopening

Hello, Warren Murray here, and these are the important bits.

Secondaries in England are to be funded to run summer schools for pupils as part of the government’s education recovery plans. New measures include £200m to expand a national tutoring programme and a £300m “recovery premium” to help schools support the most disadvantaged children. Summer schools will be targeted initially at 11-year-olds moving up to secondary school next September. A further £18m has been found to support language development in early years settings. Natalie Perera from the Education Policy Institute, said: “While any additional support for schools is welcome, the government’s package announced today is not enough to support pupils to catch up on their learning and to provide wellbeing activities for pupils of all ages.” Teachers are worried about the 8 March “big bang” reopening in England as they await vaccination.

Scotland’s schools are expected to fully reopen in early April, with some household mixing allowed, Nicola Sturgeon has said. In a statement to Holyrood, the first minister said the stay-at-home rule would be enforced at least until 5 April. She did not expect non-essential shops, or outdoor bars and restaurants, would reopen until late April when the government expected to move to regional or local lockdown levels.

The number of Covid vaccines administered in the UK has fallen by over a third in the last week as ministers warn of a short-term dip in supply, coupled with stockpiling to ensure people get second doses within 12 weeks as recommended. Meanwhile AstraZeneca has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the Covid-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter, an EU official has told the Reuters news agency. The WHO has reported a 20% drop in global coronavirus deaths since last week – keep up with the latest developments at our live blog.