A National Audit Office report (NAO, 2023) finds that while students are generally making progress to recover their learning following Covid-19 lockdowns, those who are disadvantaged “remain further behind” and there is still work to do to close gaps.
However, despite appetite for school-led tutoring, the Department for Education (DfE) is slowly reducing the subsidy it gives to schools to fund this work. Ultimately it wants schools to fund tutoring themselves.
But school leaders have warned that with the raft of budget pressures, including soaring inflation, energy costs, and unfunded staff pay increases, tutoring work is at risk.
The NAO – an independent body which scrutinises public spending for Parliament – is now urging the DfE to model the impact of the removal of the subsidy on recovery outcomes in schools.
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