PARENTS of 35,788 children in Solihull would receive vouchers worth £200 a year to spend on catch-up classes and educational activities, under plans announced by the Liberal Democrats says local group leader Councillor Laura McCarthy.
She says the vouchers could be spent on a range of activities including tutoring in reading, writing and maths, music lessons, swimming classes or other physical education.
The programme would last three years, with one £200 Catch-Up Voucher provided annually for every school child in the country, in what the Liberal Democrats said would become “the world’s biggest ever parent-listening exercise.”
She added that 9,487 children on free school meals in Solihull would be eligible for Catch-Up vouchers worth £400 a year under the proposals.
Pupils with special educational needs who are also eligible for Free School Meals would be provided with triple vouchers worth £600 a year.
She said: “Children have already suffered too much during this pandemic, from not seeing their friends to missing out on school.
“We need to see a massive investment in helping kids following this lost time, instead of the pitiful £50 per child the government is currently offering.
“The Liberal Democrats’ Catch-up Voucher scheme would put money directly into the hands of parents in Solihull to spend on whatever their children need most.
“It would also provide extra cash for the families of disadvantaged children and those with special needs, to help them close the learning gap.”
The plans were featured this week on BBC 1 and ITV as part of the Liberal Democrats’ Party Political broadcast.
They would form part of a £15 billion package of education catch-up funding, or £500 per child, as recommended by the Government’s former Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins.