From the youngest children who will enter education for the first time in September, to students approaching the final exams for degrees that determine their future prospects, all are being disgracefully let down by a lack of Government funding and support.
Today’s special report into the state of education in Yorkshire as schools break up for summer lays bare the extent of the crisis – and makes clear the urgent need for Government action and funding to address it.
Without both, as the former Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, points out, the lives of a generation of young people risk being permanently blighted.
The figures are staggering – 600,000 families so poor they have to choose between food and school books, 193,000 children likely to leave school without having had any support to recover from the disruption to their education caused by Covid, and thousands whose learning has been hampered because they have no access to a computer. This cannot go on.
Ms Longfield’s call for a northern education department and a proper recovery plan must be heeded.
The Government’s record on education is dismal. Only last month, its education recovery advisor, Sir Kevan Collins, resigned after his call for £15bn of new funding was rejected. Instead, the Government proposes spending a derisory £50 per pupil on helping them catch up.
This newspaper has previously called for the resignation of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson because of his woefully poor performance. The crisis we expose today further underlines how this Government is betraying our young people.