10th March 2022

EPI responds to Education Select Committee report on the government’s pupil catch-up programme

Following an inquiry, the Education Select Committee has published a new report, ‘Is the Catch-up Programme fit for purpose?’, which considers the impact of learning loss, education recovery funding, the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), school absence and young people’s mental health.

Commenting on the Education Select Committee report, Natalie Perera, Chief Executive of the Education Policy Institute (EPI) said: 

“This is an important report from the Committee and reflects our concerns about growing educational inequalities arising from the pandemic and the shortcomings of the government’s response.  

“As cited in today’s report, our research shows that there are significant disparities in learning loss, with pupils in the North and the Midlands and those from disadvantaged backgrounds worst affected. 

“There has also been widespread concern around the quality and reach of the National Tutoring Programme under the current provider. We are pleased that the Committee has adopted our recommendations for far greater transparency and accountability, to ensure that the programme is able to fulfil its original purpose of helping pupils from the poorest backgrounds and those who have suffered most from the pandemic. 

“The scope and ambition of the government’s wider £5bn catch-up programme continues to fall short of what the evidence tells us is needed. Our research has shown that an education recovery package of £13.5bn is required to support pupils in England. Without significant, sustained investment in education recovery, this generation of pupils is likely to suffer the consequences later in life.” 


EPI Executive Chairman David Laws gave evidence to the Committee inquiry in December 2021.

EPI research informing the Committee’s report includes: