WYCOMBE MP Steve Baker writes:

This year has been incredibly challenging for schools, teachers, and students due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with everyone working in education going to incredible lengths to support children.

The pandemic has shown the essential role schools play in our community.

The government wants every school to have the resources to deliver the high-quality education all parents expect and is more committed than ever to level up opportunity and transform the lives and prospects of a generation.

The Secretary of State for Education recently announced significant investment in our schools with an overall increase of 6.4 per cent in Wycombe, which is above the overall national increase of four per cent.

Minimum funding levels ensure every primary school receives at least £4,000 per pupil, and every secondary school at least £5,150 per pupil, delivering on the government’s pledge to level up the lowest funded schools.

The schools which have seen some of the largest increases locally are in Downley, Booker, Hazlemere, Tylers Green, Marlow Bottom, Cadmore End, Danesfield and Ibstone.

There is also a further £730m for high needs funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), bringing the total high needs budget to over £8bn.

Special funding has been announced for the next academic year, worth a total of £1bn, to help support children and young people to catch up after the recent period of disruption to their education.

This includes a ‘Catch Up Premium’ worth £650m to help make up for lost teaching time.

Alongside this, there is a new £350m tutoring programme for disadvantaged students, to give high quality tuition and to accelerate their academic progress and tackle the attainment gap.

Head teachers can decide how best to use their school’s premium to address the impact of lost teaching time but are encouraged to spend it on small group or one-to-one tuition, support over the summer, or additional support for great teaching.