Press play to listen to this article
Boris Johnson’s schools adviser has resigned amid a row over the levels of support being offered to help children catch up with lost learning.
Kevan Collins — who was unveiled as the U.K. government’s education recovery commissioner just five months ago — said a £1.4 billion package of help for English schools risked “failing hundreds of thousands of pupils.”
He wrote to Johnson to announce his exit on Wednesday, in a letter first revealed by the Times Educational Supplement.
The government has promised £1.4 billion to help pupils catch up, with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson saying extra tuition and additional support for teachers could “make an impact today.”
However, Collins is reported to have recommended a sum of around £15 billion to help England’s schools, which have been closed for large parts of the pandemic. In a government release that accompanied the official announcement, Collins was quoted as saying “more will be needed.”
Writing to Johnson later Wednesday to announce his resignation, Collins said: “The package of measures announced today provides valuable support, including important investment in teaching quality and tutoring. However, as I set out in my reports to you, I do not believe it is credible that a successful recovery can be achieved with a programme of support of this size.”
And he added: “Without a comprehensive and urgent response, we risk failing hundreds of thousands of pupils.”
A No. 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister is hugely grateful to Sir Kevan for his work in helping pupils catch up and recover from the effects of the pandemic.”