England's education recovery commissioner has suggested that the government needs to be thinking longer term with its catch-up plans.
Speaking to MPs, Sir Kevan Collins said the coronavirus pandemic has revealed "underlying scars and issues" in the school system which will require “bold and ambitious” measures to address, BBC News reports.
"Catch-up isn't really the language I'm using – I think it's much more about recovery over time. Catch-up is part of it, but that isn't going to be enough – we do need something over the longer period,” Sir Kevan said.
"And the disruption has hit children who face disadvantage more than others.”
When quizzed on whether the school day could be extended, he said that everything was under consideration as part of creating a level playing field for students.
However, Prof Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, suggested there were only "marginal gains" in a longer school day. She said that it could ask too much of pupils' attention spans.
On the matter of summer schools, Sir Kevan said that schools are best placed to decide whether or not any of their pupils would benefit from the additional education time. He stressed that schools need some time to “work out what different children need”, so that they can make the right decisions.
He called for there to be trust put in “people on the ground” to devise measures and spend the extra funding as they see fit. "It needs to be a school-led, settings-led, college-led recovery,” he stressed.
Geoff Barton, head of the school leaders' union ASCL, agreed that it was important for head teachers to be given autonomy, while calling for teachers to be given the license to do their best work.
"We need teachers to teach like they've never taught before," he said.
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