The Government is more committed than ever to levelling up opportunity for the next generation in every part of the UK.
Schools are already benefiting from a £2.6bn increase in funding this year, which will rise to £4.8bn in 2021-22 and £7.1bn in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.
The Government is now delivering the second year of that three-year funding commitment and it is great to see that our local secondary schools and primary schools in the Forest of Dean will attract an average of £5,687 and £4,856 respectively per pupil in 2021-22.
The Government’s additional investment also includes a further increase of £730m in high needs funding next year, to support children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), on top of the £780m increase local authorities are receiving in 2020-21.
Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit.
I have raised this issue on numerous occasions in Parliament, which is why I am pleased to welcome the recent announcement of a £1bn ‘catch up’ package to help support children and young people to catch up over the next academic year.
This includes a ‘Catch Up Premium’ worth £650m to help make up for lost teaching time for all pupils. Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis and paid once a term over the 2020/21 academic year. Under this premium, a typical primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a typical secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000.
I will continue to work closely with my colleagues in Government, as well as local teachers, school governors and parents to ensure that all Forest of Dean pupils are able to reach their full potential.
On another note, the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme launched this week. Diners who eat-in will benefit from a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, any Monday to Wednesday in August.
The hospitality and tourism industry is an absolutely key part of our economy and I encourage my constituents to safely utilise this scheme and support our great local businesses.