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Commenting on a series of reports published today by Ofsted examining education recovery, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“These reports reflect the tremendous amount of hard work that teachers and leaders have put in during the course of the ongoing pandemic to maintain education provision and to mitigate the pandemic’s damaging impact on children and young people.

“Teachers and leaders have gone above and beyond for their students, often at the expense of their own health and wellbeing, and have put huge amounts of time into catch-up strategies, as well as work to address the social and mental impact which lockdowns have had on many children and young people.

“However, schools and colleges alone cannot completely make up for the significant impact of the pandemic on pupils’ progress, development and emotional health.

“Teachers are reporting that children are arriving at school less ready to learn and that younger pupils particularly lack the social and developmental skills typically expected of them. There has also been an increase in challenging behaviour from pupils of all ages.

“In these reports Ofsted highlights the scale of the challenge currently facing the education sector in ensuring the attainment and wellbeing of children and young people is not left permanently blighted as a result of this pandemic.

“We have heard the Government make a number of pledges on schools and SEND provision in the last week. Ministers urgently need to come good on providing the resources and funding necessary to achieve the aspirations they have set out.

“Schools and colleges need access to and coordination with fully funded specialist external services to help meet the needs of all learners. They also need investment in the teaching workforce with the provision of pay, working conditions and training which will sustain recruitment and retention and encourage teachers to remain in the profession long term.

“Without greater action from Government now, the lingering impact of the pandemic on children’s development and welfare will only snowball as the years go on. This will create greater and avoidable inequalities for this generation of young people.

“Ministers owe it to today’s children and young people to match the huge recovery efforts being made by teachers and school leaders.”

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