The government’s Parent Pledge will be a “tall order” to deliver and risks being seen as nothing more than a “policy gimmick”, while the elephant in the White Paper is the lack of targets to close the disadvantage gap.

The Parent Pledge idea forms part of the new education White Paper (DfE, 2022) but seems to ignore the evidence showing how difficult it is for pupils to catch-up once they have fallen behind.

The White Paper also fails to set any targets for closing the disadvantage gap post-pandemic and ignores the failures of the National Tutoring Programme.

Published this week, the White Paper sets out plans for a minimum school week of 32.5 hours by September 2023, for Ofsted to inspect every school by 2025, and for six million tutoring courses to be delivered by 2024.

The headline Parent Pledge policy will focus on children who “fall behind” in maths or English and guarantees that they will get “the support they need to get back on track”.

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