Extend free catch-up tuition offer to 16-18 year olds

Extend free catch-up tuition offer to 16-18 year olds

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David Hughes
David Hughes signed this petition

I’m calling on the Government to reverse their decision to drop 16- to 18-year-olds from their plan to provide free catch-up tuition. Many young people have missed out on months of education with the closure of schools and colleges due to coronavirus. Surveys of teachers suggest that 16-year-olds have received no or very little teaching during this time.

Despite this, 16- to 18-year-olds were recently dropped from the Government’s plan to provide funding for free catch-up tuition to address lost learning. As a result, a 15-year-old from a wealthy background will now be funded to receive tuition to help them get back on track, while a 16-year-old from a disadvantaged background will get nothing. 

This makes no sense. 16- to 18-year-olds are closer to the labour market than younger students. Not only has their education also been significantly disrupted, but without strong qualifications, they are likely to struggle to find work amid rising unemployment.

Moreover, young people who attend further education colleges are more likely to come from a low-income background. They are less likely to be able to afford help from a private tutor and their colleges receive less funding from the Government to be able to support them.

I’m a former college principal and a grandparent of a 16-year-old. I believe the exclusion of these young people is wrong. The Government should make sure that these young people also get the support they need to address their lost learning, so that the coronavirus crisis doesn’t hold them back in the future.