The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill which makes clear the Government must pay schools and colleges “whatever it costs” so that children can keep learning if schools stay shut for several months.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran, a former teacher, has warned if some schools continue to deliver lessons and others don’t it will be a “disaster for social mobility.”
The proposals from the Liberal Democrats includes creating a duty on schools and colleges to ensure that pupils – whether at home or on-site – continue to receive an education, accepting that schools are unlikely to be able to cover the national curriculum.
The party is also seeking a commitment from Ministers to refund schools and colleges for any reasonable purchases of equipment, software or other resources needed for remote working of teachers and students.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:
“The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. We cannot thank teachers and staff enough for going above and beyond. Many of them are already doing the right thing and are preparing online resources to help pupils study at home.
“I have complete faith in the professionalism and creativity of our teachers. Ministers must match their efforts by making explicitly clear what schools will be expected to provide both for pupils who are at home and for those who remain in their care.
“We cannot forget it will be a disaster for social mobility if some schools can continue teaching in some form and others cannot. That is why Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to pay whatever it costs to get staff and pupils the equipment and resources they need. No child should be left behind.”