York education leaders are developing plans to help school children recover from the impact the pandemic has had on their studies and social lives.
Education bosses launched a survey to ask parents, carers, school staff and pupils for their views on how to help young people recover from the pandemic.
An education recovery plan is now being drawn up and will be launched in September.
But school leaders warn York is likely to get less Government funding for the work because it is based on the number of disadvantaged children receiving the Pupil Premium.
Helen Winn is chief executive of the Hope Learning academy trust, which runs schools including Burton Green Primary, Manor CE Academy, Poppleton Ousebank Primary and Vale of York Academy.
She told a City of York Council meeting that the strategy is likely to focus on a range of areas, including early years education, wellbeing and also teacher and staff training.
She said there will be programmes focused on areas including speech, language, reading and writing.
Ms Winn said: “We want this strategy to be positive for the children’s future, rather than dwelling on what has happened. So we decided to change the name to York Education Futures.
“We’re not under any illusions. We do have some children, a significant minority of children, who have really significant gaps in their learning. But they need to have the confidence that we can get them to the right place quickly, if we have the right strategies in place and we look forward to the future.”
She added: “We do know that children who are at any kind of disadvantage, or are vulnerable or who have special educational needs or disabilities, that generally we know that nationally and locally the gaps just got bigger and bigger and bigger for many of those children.
“We have to do something about that. We can’t be in a situation where we allow that to continue.”
The Government will put £1 billion nationally towards extra tutoring for pupils, as well as £184 million into professional qualifications for middle and late-career staff and £153 million for training for early years staff.
But Cllr Bob Webb asked how much of the money is likely to come to York schools, adding: “Quite frankly York traditionally does very poorly when it comes to funding for educational issues.”
Ms Winn agreed that York will get less funding than other areas because it has fewer disadvantaged young people.
“Funding is based on the number of children that are pupil premium,” she said.
“You’re absolutely right that in York because in most schools there are not high proportions of children who are on pupil premium then the funding in York will not be as high as it will in the areas.
“When we’re looking at gaps in children’s achievement, if you’re in an area where there are a lot of children who attract pupil premium, you’re going to have a lot more work that you need to do to get the children back to where they need to be – so I don’t necessarily think that is unfair.
“But as a city we need to think about how we make that money work hard for us.”
She said that one of the early issues highlighted by the survey is that many teachers want extra training – or continuing professional development – to develop their teaching abilities as schools start to return to normal following the pandemic.