Helping Catch Up on Lost Learning

Meeting pupils and teachers is one of the best parts of my job as MP. 

Whether it’s seeing kids dressed up in creative World Book Day costumes or kicking a ball around with a girls’ football team, the visits always make me smile. I’m constantly amazed by the thoughtful questions pupils ask me – they often give me more of a grilling than I get from journalists!

Yet, on my visits, I also hear time and time again of the struggles that schools, teachers and pupils have been facing throughout the pandemic, which was so brutal from both a wellbeing and an academic perspective.

Reading crisis

School closures and disruptions during Covid hit our children’s education hard, and the reading crisis in our schools is especially concerning. Shockingly, more than one in four children left primary school without reaching the appropriate reading age before the pandemic. Those figures will only be worse now. 

This is why, in Parliament last month, I demanded an urgent review into reading standards post-Covid, and called on the Government to commit to a Children’s Catch Up Fund of at least £15bn (so far, only £5bn has been spent).

Catch-up vouchers 

I’m also calling for catch-up vouchers for parents to spend as they see fit. This would include £200 of catch-up vouchers for every child, and more for those on free school meals or with special needs. These could be used for tutoring, extra-curricular activities or counselling, as every child’s needs are different.

When BBC Politics London interviewed me about catching up on lost learning, they also spoke with Twickenham School’s award-winning Headteacher Assal Ruse. Schools like Twickenham School – the first in the borough to start giving remote lessons during the pandemic – defied the odds and went above and beyond to help their pupils. Teachers and headteachers at all of our fantastic local schools have worked unbelievably hard to support our children throughout the pandemic. It’s time for us to support them, and our children, now.

Munira Wilson, MP

call 020 8977 0606 for her constituency office or 020 7219 6474 for her parliamentary office

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