No student left behind by Covid


No student left behind by Covid



Covid has had a hugely negative impact on qualification delivery and the wider student experience. Young people have lost out on learning, but have also not been able to engage in extra curricular activities or spend time with their peer group, and many have found their mental and physical health has suffered as a result. The impact on economically disadvantaged students has been particularly stark. While the government has made both core and targeted funding available to 5 to 16 schools to aid Covid recovery, 16 to 18 education has received no core funding and a smaller amount of targeted funding. What’s more, this funding is targeted exclusively at students with low prior attainment in GCSE English and maths and can only be spent on small group tuition.



The need for catch up and recovery support extends far beyond students that did not perform well in two of their GCSEs, so we are urging the government to introduce more flexibility in how Covid support funding for 16 to 18 year olds can be spent. Our members have been very clear that Covid-recovery interventions that take place during the core college day (e.g. via funding for increased teaching or support) will have a much greater impact than bolt on activities like summer schools. The government must get investment levels right, but also give college and school leaders the flexibility to tailor interventions to meet the needs of individual students.

Our asks are therefore:

  • On Covid catch up: eligibility for the 16-19 tuition fund in 2021/22 to be extended beyond those students with low prior attainment in English and maths, and greater flexibility in how the funding can be spent. The fund should operate in the same way as existing disadvantage funding – with a bigger pot of money and an early confirmation to help colleges and schools plan for the next academic year  
  • On Covid recovery: additional funding for additional activity (teaching or support) during the existing college day, very much along the lines of Raise the Rate (and backed by research commissioned by SFCA on international comparisons of 16-19 systems – 15 hours in England vs. 25-30 hours in other countries)

Recovery chart

                                      (Feb 2021 survey)

Get involved

We need the support of school and college leaders, governors, students, parents, teachers and support staff to make the campaign a success.  There are lots of ways to get involved, for example:

  • Share campaign points on social media -  here are three example tweets: 12, 3. Make sure to tag us if you use one of these!
  • Use these infographics - one oninternational comparisons of contact hours and one on SFCA members' ratings of potential recovery policies
  • Write to your local MP to secure their support for the campaign (a full list of MPs is here)
  • Invite local MPs to your school or college
  • School and college leaders can write to parents to secure their support for the campaign 

A template letter to MPs for all three of our campaigns can be found here – please feel free to adapt the text and add specific examples from your own college or school.

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