Despite the government`s efforts to subsidise tuition to help pupils affected by Covid-19, only a few schools expressed interest in signing up for the NTP programme.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged £350 million for “massive catch-up operation” in an effort to subsidise one-to-one and small-group tuition for underprivileged school pupils in England. Currently, only £211 million of the £350 million funds has been allocated, an investigation by Schools Week found.
There are more than 22,000 state schools in England, but only “hundreds” have shown interest in signing up for the national tutoring programme (NTP).
Johnson said his aim was “to take further an idea that we have tried in the pandemic, and explore the value of one-to-one teaching, both for pupils who are in danger of falling behind and for those who are of exceptional abilities”.
The fund had been initiated as part of Johnson`s £1 billion coronavirus catch-up scheme in June. In order to help pupils aged 16 and below, £650 million was directed to schools and the remaining £350 was set aside for a national tutoring programme during the 2020-21 school year.
Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, told parliament: “The plan will be delivered throughout the next academic year, bringing long-term reform to the educational sector that will protect a generation of children from the effects of this pandemic.”
It is most unlikely that DfE will come up with ways to direct the £139 million which it has underspent to tuition, the Schools Week investigation found.
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Yet more sleight of hand from government. Again, they’ve overpromised but underdelivered.”