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Liberal Democrats

F12: Catching Up on Our Children’s Education

Motion Passed by Conference

Proposed by: 13 members

Mover: Munira Wilson MP (Spokesperson for Education).

Summation: Cllr Dine Romero.

Conference notes with concern that:

  1. The Government has only committed £4.9 billion of the £15 billion needed for catch-up education as recommended by the Government’s former Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins.
  2. Disruption to education caused by the pandemic could cause children to lose £40,000 in income over their lifetime, leading to a £350 billion hole in the economy.
  3. Most children in the UK have lost half a year of schooling, 5% of their entire time in school, which is likely to increase educational inequalities and effects on mental health.

Conference believes that:

  1. Young people have suffered enormous disruption to their education and spent months isolated from their peers. Pupils have missed out on millions of days of vital teaching and their parents have been left to pick up the pieces.
  2. Parents have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic and must be empowered to have more involvement in their children’s education.
  3. As we recover from the pandemic, it is right that closing the disadvantage gap is a top priority for the Liberal Democrats.

Conference calls for:

  1. Government to immediately commit the full £15 billion to catch-up funding for children, in line with the recommendations from the Government’s former Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins.
  2. Government to distribute £5 billion of this funding to Catch-Up Vouchers worth £200 a year for 3 years, given directly to parents for all 8.3 million children in state-funded schools.
  3. Government to double the worth of these vouchers for disadvantaged children eligible for the Pupil Premium or those with special educational needs.
  4. Government to triple the worth of these vouchers for pupils with special educational needs who are also eligible for free school meals and looked-after or previously looked-after children.

Applicability: England only.

Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes.

For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 9. To submit a speaker’s card go to: www.libdems.org.uk/speakers-card.

The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00, Monday 28 February; see page 12. Amendments selected for debate will be published in the Conference Extra and Saturday Conference Daily updates to the Conference Agenda.

The deadline for requests for separate votes is 11.00 Friday 11 March; see page 9.

The FCC has agreed to make the following drafting amendment to the motion:

In 4. (line 34), delete ‘free school meals and looked-after or previously looked-after children’ and insert ‘Pupil Premium’.