The government’s £650m so-called catch-up premium amounts to £80 per-pupil. Matt Bromley looks at how the funding is being delivered, how we might spend it, and Ofsted’s role in the coming months

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. And, as ever, those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds are among the hardest hit.

The Education Endowment Foundation’s recent rapid evidence review predicted that the disadvantage gap could widen by as much as 75 per cent as a result of lockdown (EEF, 2020a).

The Education Policy Institute (EPI), meanwhile, says that the disadvantage gap has stopped closing for the first time in a decade – with disadvantaged pupils in England now 18.1 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs (Hutchinson et al, 2020).

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