Schools catch-up funding; time for answers from Rishi Sunak – The Yorkshire Post says

THREE Cabinet Ministers will have played a part in the decision to downgrade the schools catch-up plan – Boris Johnson, Gavin Williamson and Rishi Sunak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure over the decision not to fund the schools catch-up plan.

Yet, while the PM and Education Secretary have offered explanations of sorts after Sir Kevan Collins quit as Education Recovery Commissioner, the Chancellor has stayed largely silent on the issue.

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And this matters – The Yorkshire Post has it on impeccable authority that Mr Sunak vetoed the £15bn investment sought by Sir Kevan and this has not been denied by the Treasury or the Chancellor’s own special advisor.

Labour leader Sir keir Starmer at Prime Minister's Questions.

But rather than non-attributable briefings, or offer of quotes from sympathetic sources, this newspaper, for one, maintains that Mr Sunak owes schools a personal explanation for the decision, the rationale behind it and the criteria that the Treasury will use to determine future funding bids on lost learning.

If the reason, as has been suggested by others, is that he wasn’t confident about the merit of a longer school day, or the support of the teaching unions, he should say so himself, and not leave it to others, after being accused by Sir Keir Starmer of “presiding over a false economy”.

After all, Mr Sunak did say to this newspaper a year ago that education was the motivating issue behind his decision to enter politics – and skills is said to be integral to the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

Boris Johnson recruited former head Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner.

Yet the current confusion makes it even more necessary that Mr Sunak, as the guardian of the nation’s purse strings and a politician held in much higher esteem than many, sets out, and justifies, a decision so fundamental to Britain’s future.

Over to you, Chancellor.

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