Education Recovery Plan: Embarrassment at Eat Out to Help Out comparison

Last year’s ill-fated month-long Eat Out to Help Out scheme cost about the same as the government’s Education Recovery Plan for the next academic year.

This embarrassing fact has been highlighted ahead of a Parliamentary debate over the controversial and much-criticised Education Recovery Plan, which was unveiled last week.

The plan led to the resignation of the government’s own Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins and it was so lacking in ambition that the Department for Education (DfE) and its secretary of state Gavin Williamson came in for scathing criticism, even being accused of trying to "sneak out" the plan during half-term.

The sector had expected wide-ranging plans involving extended school days and more radical measures, and costing as much as £15bn.

In the end, just £1.4bn was announced over three years for further one-to-one and small group tutoring support via the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) and some teacher training support. Education unions blasted the government for a “lack of ambition” and it soon emerged that the Treasury had refused to sign off on more extensive plans, including extending the school day, put forward by the DfE in consultation with Sir Kevan.

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