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Labour pledges to increase Early Years Pupil Premium

By Rachel Lawlerchild playing with abacus

The Labour Party has pledged to increase Early Years Pupil Premium to match the funding rate provided to primary schools as part of wider proposals to support education after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Children’s Recovery Plan outlines a range of measures including breakfast clubs, more activity clubs, mental heath support in schools, extended free school meals and training for teachers with a total proposed spend of £14.7bn

For the early years, Labour has proposed a £110m investment into an 'Early Years Recovery Premium'. This would see the current Early Years Pupil Premium boosted to match primary Pupil Premium levels – increasing from £302 to £1345 per child.

Future investment
Kate Green, shadow education secretary, commented: “Labour’s innovative plans, informed by parents, teachers and children, will deliver not just a world-class education for all based on play and social development, but fulfilled and confident young people. We must match the ambition children have for their own futures and put them at the heart of our national recovery. This is an investment that our children’s futures and the future of our country depends on.”

1% of spending plans
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "While it is positive that Labour's post-Covid education proposal emphasises the importance of giving children opportunities to play and socialise, and supporting their mental health, it is disappointing that, much like the government's own recovery plans, there is so little focus on the early years.

"While the proposed overall spending on the early years is significantly higher than the government's current education recovery commitments, it still only appears to account for less than 1% of Labour's overall spending plans. As such, while increasing the Early Years Pupil Premium to primary levels would be a welcome first step, much bolder, more ambitious action is needed if we are to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the education of our very youngest children.
"We know that the first five years of a child's life are absolutely crucial for their long-term development, and our own research shows that the pandemic has significantly disrupted the early learning of young children across the country. We urge politicians from all parties to remember just how vital this period of education is: the early years should be at the heart of recovery plans, not an afterthought."