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England's schools to get extra funds to help pupils catch up after lockdown

FILE PHOTO: A classroom is seen with tables and chairs socially distanced at St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School as they prepare to reopen following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Hertford, Britain, May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

LONDON (Reuters) - Schools in England will receive extra funding to help them deal with the impact of lost teaching time during the coronavirus lockdown, the government said on Friday.

The catch-up package will be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.24 billion) over the 2020-2021 academic year, a statement said.

Of that, 650 million pounds will be shared across state primary and secondary schools to help them put in place small group tuition and other measures to assist pupils.

Another 350 million pounds will go to a national tutoring programmes aimed at increasing access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged young people.

Schools were shut in March to most children, as part of a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Some year groups started returning to classrooms this month, but the government has faced criticism for dropping plans to get all primary pupils back into school before the end of the academic year.

“I am determined to do everything I can to get all children back in school from September, and we will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Costas Pitas

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