Ecocleen cleans 10 million sq.ft of schools every day to aid the reopening of education facilities across the UK

Oxford, United Kingdom – 27 July 2020 – Ecocleen, the leading commercial contract cleaning provider, announces that it has been servicing 10 million sq.ft of schools daily to aid the reopening of education facilities across the United Kingdom. With specialist cleaning expertise and local account management, the company adapted its offering to meet individual school needs and expectations, during this unprecedented period, to ensure education facilities remain a safe and hygienic environment for students, teachers and parents. 

The return to school has been controversial and unpopular with many parents and staff, who are concerned about the safety and practicalities of children returning to the classroom. Ecocleen has helped to provide certainty and reassurance by ensuring schools are fully and properly prepared when children return. Since schools started reopening in June, it has adjusted its cleaning specifications, in line with government guidelines, and introduced daily cleaning throughout school hours, focussing on main contact points to help limit the risk of cross contamination. 

“The effects of COVID-19 have been paramount, and it’s had a huge impact on the education sector in particular. We’re proud to have helped students, teachers and parents return to some sense of normalcy by providing them with what they need to safeguard their school,” comments Jean-Henri Beukes, Managing Director at Ecocleen. “Schools are not experts in cleaning: they are there to educate, as well as look after their teachers and students. We’re on hand to understand the unique needs of cleaning schools, colleges and nurseries, and help them feel safe as education facilities continue reopening.”

As a national service provider with regional franchise ownership, Ecocleen has provided schools with a local cleaning solution backed by nationwide standards, systems and support. This means the education community has benefited from shared specialist knowledge, advanced cleaning techniques and technological innovation. The team has also been available to provide advice and best practices to ensure schools and its staff completely understand infection control procedures and the importance of routine cleaning to reduce the spread of infection.

“During the government imposed lockdown, we created a pop-up school to make sure all key worker children had a safe place to learn. We worked closely with Ecocleen to manage our limited number of cleaners and promote health and safety best practices,” explains Lisa Saunders, Operations Director at Maiden Erlegh Trust. “Since then, we have enhanced our cleaning routines to limit cross contamination in key contact areas and utilised our cleaning hours as much as possible. Looking ahead to the new school year in September, we have created a full reopening plan and Ecocleen has been a huge part in assessing the school risks and recommending enhanced cleaning solutions.”

During this challenging time, Ecocleen has also been undertaking joint monthly audits with education facilities to measure cleaning standard, health and safety compliance and customer satisfaction. In addition to monitoring guidelines set by the government, any operational issues are quickly identified, escalated and resolved. All inspections are stored electronically on Ecocleen’s centralised reporting system to enable smart analysis, gain operational insight and deliver ongoing improvements to education customers. 

For more information, please visit:

EDT Launches Virtual STEM Education Programmes on TCS iON Digital Learning Platform

Virtual Programmes on Tata Consultancy Services’ Platform to Provide Students Access to STEM Experiences of Work  

LONDON | MUMBAI, July 27, 2020: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, has supported the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), its long-term STEM skills partner, launch virtual educational programmes for school and college students, through its TCS iON™ Digital Learning Platform.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, experiences of work, technical skills trainings, and EDT programmes have become inaccessible for many students. To address this gap, EDT has adapted its summer programmes to become virtual by leveraging the TCS iON platform.

EDT is working with 20 UK universities and 300 corporate partners to deliver the programmes. This summer will see the launch of four virtual programmes, including university taster days, experiences of work and activities, to help students interested in STEM subjects gain meaningful experiences and accreditation through Industrial Cadets. EDT and TCS have worked with universities and corporate partners to create virtual university taster courses on the TCS iON Digital Learning Platform, enabling participants to complete them at their own pace. On completion, students are awarded a Silver Industrial Cadet certification.

The TCS iON platform is also extending the reach of TCS’ long established Digital Explorers programme, conducted in partnership with EDT, that aims to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in STEM. While the in-person programme typically saw around 700 participants, the first virtual event already has 9,000 registrations so far. It will include Industrial Cadets virtual work experience and experience days throughout the summer in England and into the autumn term in Scotland. Upon completion, students will receive a Challenger Industrial Cadet certification.

TCS iON is partnering with education institutions across the world to help them navigate the current challenges, and also transition into a digital era where teaching and learning do not have physical boundaries,” said Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON. We are delighted to once again work with EDT on programmes that inspire interest in STEM education and careers among students in UK. Virtual delivery democratises access, allowing us to reach more students than ever before.

Experiences of work and connections with industry are critical in providing students the chance to make their own choices for their future and we are delighted to be able to offer these opportunities to young people interested in STEM subjects in a new way,” saidJulie Feest, CEO, EDT. By leveraging TCS iON platform, we are reaching students in new ways and offering them really exciting insights into the world of work. We hope that our virtual programmes will help us broaden our impact across hard to reach areas and focus on disadvantaged young people to answer the issues of widening social divide, equipping them with invaluable skills, introducing them to new people and ultimately making them more employable. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this new way of providing our programmes, and how it can benefit young people to open their eyes to what could be possible for them and their future.”

The TCS iON Digital Learning Platform is used by more than 5 million learners worldwide. It enables corporates, institutes and industry mentors to collaborate on various programmes to teach and inspire the tech leaders of the future.

Find out more about TCS iON:

Find out more about the virtual programmes and register:

Juniper Education partners with Complete Maths to help schools improve numeracy mastery quickly

[23rd July 2020]: Juniper Education has today announced a partnership with Complete Maths to provide schools with a lesson by lesson maths curriculum for Years 1 to 6 based on the mastery approach. The solution uses AI technology to help teachers identify pupils who may be struggling, or those needing more challenging work, then offers suggestions for extra support at the right level.

With only a small proportion of primary school teachers having mathematics as their specialist subject, Complete Maths offers teaching staff a wealth of pedagogical support to plan and deliver maths lessons and ensure every child gets the help they need to make good progress.

The partnership brings Complete Maths into Juniper’s existing offering of software and services used by more than 7,000 schools, which includes advanced pupil assessment tracking tools and an innovative management information system (MIS).   

Gavin Freed, chairman of Juniper Education, said: “Schools want to put effective measures in place quickly to help their pupils catch up following the recent school closures. Based on the maths curriculum, Complete Maths will help teachers to get their pupils back on track with numeracy. The lesson ideas and resources the solution provides can save around 40%* in planning and assessment time, allowing teachers to focus on teaching and supporting their pupils.

“Our partnership with Complete Maths puts numeracy alongside literacy at the centre of our portfolio and provides teachers with everything they need to teach maths in the classroom.”

Based on ten years of research and designed by 42 mathematicians, the Complete Maths curriculum design team included one of the world-leading authorities on mastery and is well placed to support the 350,000 teachers leading maths lessons in the UK.  

The solution tracks individual pupils through the activities set and uses AI technology to spot if a child needs extra support in a particular area of maths or suggests ideas to help stretch more gifted maths pupils.   

Mark McCourt, CEO and founder of Complete Maths, said, “Juniper is a trusted name in the education sector.  Through this partnership, we can fulfil our common goal to create an online eco-system of education solutions to make life better for teachers and deliver improved outcomes for pupils.”

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Louise Everett, The Influence Crowd (on behalf of Juniper Education). Tel: 07855 257927.

Five things teachers should be asking their financial consultant

Tracy Isaac, business development manager at Wesleyan, answers the five questions that teachers should be asking their financial consultant in the face of COVID-19

Coronavirus has had a significant impact on teachers, with school shutdowns, centre assessment grades and the shift to teaching from home creating new pressures on the profession.

As they now look ahead to the gradual return of more students to class and the challenges of supporting the educational and pastoral needs of pupils in a post-coronavirus landscape, it’s understandable that questions of personal finance may have fallen to the bottom of teachers’ busy to-do lists.

Here are five questions that every teacher should be asking their financial consultant when it comes to navigating the current climate. 

How does this impact my teachers’ pension benefits?

Many teachers will be members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).

Although this has seen no fundamental changes as a result of the pandemic, changes to members’ circumstances may affect their accrual.

For example, some teachers may have been furloughed through the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Furlough pay will be pensionable. But employee contributions will be calculated based on their actual pay, not their normal rate of pensionable pay, with an exception for those who are furloughed while on pensionable leave. The same will apply to employer contributions.

As the build-up of a member’s pension pot is generally proportionate to their pensionable pay, if furlough pay is less than what a teacher would usually earn, the amount of pension built-up over furlough will be less too – this applies to both the TPS’ career average arrangement, and the final salary arrangement.

It is important to remember that, for most, this will have a minimal impact on their overall pension.

If you have any questions about what your own circumstances could mean for your pension, speak to your financial adviser.

Recent months have also seen an increase in the number of teachers considering opting-out of the TPS.

The TPS offers guaranteed retirement income directly linked to a teacher’s salary and service, with clear employer and employee contributions outlined. Alternative pension schemes may not be as generous, the contributions and retirement income not always as certain, and the structure more complex.

Before making any decision about your position in the TPS, it’s important that you first consider what any change in scheme could mean for you and your long-term retirement plans. Your financial adviser will be able to help you with this process.  

Are there any other implications for my retirement plans?

The coronavirus outbreak may have implications for teachers who have pension plans outside of or in addition to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, specifically defined contribution (DC) pension schemes.

Here, the value of the pension pot is driven by the performance of its underlying investments, and may have been affected by recent market conditions.

Each individual’s circumstances will be different, and it’s essential that you first speak to your financial adviser to help you understand what the coronavirus outbreak might mean for your own situation and your retirement plans before making any decisions.

Your intentions and your personal circumstances may have changed in recent months, and your adviser will be able to help you understand the options available to you, and the implications of any courses of action.

What should I be doing with my savings? And what about investments?

In times like these, you may find yourself with the need to draw from your savings to help cover expenses.

If this is the case, the first step is to determine exactly how much you need to spend. You can then consider diverting some funds into an instant-access account, so that it’s easily accessible as and when you need it. 

Interest rates are at historic lows, and so it’s advisable that money is only kept in low-interest accounts to provide for planned expenditure, or emergencies, over the short term.  If kept for longer, the value of your savings could depreciate in real terms.

When it comes to investments, everyone’s specific circumstances will vary. In the current environment, however, it generally recommended that investments are left untouched to give them the chance to regain any value lost in recent months, if you can afford to do so.

If you have some spare capital, market conditions could make this a good time to invest.

It’s important that you consider whether market conditions match your own appetite for risk, and remember that investing is usually conducted over periods of at least five years or more.

In all cases, it’s important to remember that you could get less out than you put in. Speak to your financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

What about protection?

Recent conditions will have highlighted the importance of ensuring that you have the right protection in place.

Teachers should take the time to review what protection measures they currently hold, and whether these are adequate for their requirements now, or anticipated future needs. Your financial adviser will be able to support you with this process, and help you understand any options available.

A solution like income protection, for example, could prove useful, providing you with continued income to replace a proportion of your earnings if injury or illness prevents you from working.

What does this mean for mortgages?

Despite well-documented disruption to the housing market, it’s important to remember that lenders are still offering mortgages.

Carefully review the full range of options available to you to ensure you’re taking out a deal that best suits your situation before settling on a decision – your financial adviser will be able to help you in this process.

Given the current low-interest rate environment, this could be a good time to consider re-mortgaging – a process that could help you to save money. 

If you have already agreed a mortgage, check with your lender to ensure that the offer is still valid. You should also consider whether the borrowing you have agreed is still suitable – recent changes in your circumstances may mean it is no longer right for you.

Should you need any further information visit or email to request further advice.


Purchase Supports Commitment to Keep Pupils Connected – Wherever Learning is Taking Place

Discovery Education, one of the UK’s leading providers of digital curriculum content and professional learning for primary and secondary schools, today announced the acquisition of Spiral – an award-winning platform which supports collaborative learning and formative assessment in the classroom and at home. Terms were not disclosed.

Discovery Education’s acquisition of Spiral supports the company’s efforts to keep pupils connected to learning, wherever it is taking place. Spiral’s product features compliment Discovery Education Experience, the recently announced brand-new platform for Discovery Education’s services launching this Autumn. The addition of Spiral’s features will give educators even more ways to facilitate teaching, deepen pupil engagement and engage with all learners.

“Discovery Education is focused on providing schools with outstanding digital services that connect pupils to learning in and out of the classroom,” said Discovery Education Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy Philip Nanney. “The acquisition of Spiral aligns with our strategy of adding features to our digital services that save educators time and increase pupil engagement.  We look forward to welcoming Spiral to the Discovery Education team.” 

Spiral is a past winner of the prestigious Common Sense Education Best EdTech Award. Recognised for empowering teachers to create interactive learning experiences, Spiral also enables teachers to probe class understanding in real time through digital multimedia content.

Spiral is the latest acquisition by Discovery Education.  In August of 2019, Discovery Education announced the purchase of Inspyro, a provider of leading virtual reality and augmented reality content based also based in the UK.

“Spiral’s team is incredibly excited to join Discovery Education,” said Hamish Kennedy, Spiral’s Founder and CEO.  “Discovery Education shares our commitment to connecting students to learning no matter where they are, and we look forward to working closely on that mission with our new colleagues.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit  and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEdUK or find us on Instagram.  

Discovery Education Launches Powerful New Teaching and Learning Platform

New platform will support effective teaching in blended learning environments.

Coming to schools this Autumn, Discovery Education Experience is a brand-new platform for delivering Discovery Education’s popular digital curriculum services including Discovery Education Espresso, Discovery Education Coding and Discovery Education Health and Relationships, used by half of all UK primary schools.  

Combining a fresh new look with the personalisation and assessment tools teachers have been asking for, Discovery Education Experience brings together the high-quality, curriculum-aligned digital content from services such as Discovery Education Espresso with added customisation, collaboration and personalisation tools to engage every pupil, wherever learning is taking place.

This powerful new platform enhances the functionality schools already get from their Discovery Education services by enabling educators to personalise their experience, helping busy teachers to save time and quickly access relevant curriculum-aligned content.

Discovery Education Experience will enable teachers to: 

  • Customise how their Discovery Education content is organised to be specific to their individual needs, 
  • share and assign lessons or content to classes or individual pupils,  
  • create quizzes and creative learning tasks, 
  • seamlessly deliver lessons whether pupils are in person or online, and  
  • learn new ways to use digital resources effectively in the classroom. 

“Supporting and inspiring educators is at the heart of Discovery Education’s mission and purpose,” said Howard Lewis, Discovery Education UK’s Managing Director. “We are excited to offer the new Discovery Education Experience to schools and continue to make teachers’ lives easier with these time-saving and personalisation tools. Whether the learning is taking place in classroom or remotely, this upgraded experience will support teachers as they help every pupil live up to their full potential.” 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curriculum resources, including Espresso, Coding, Health and Relationships, STEM Connect and our new online personal and professional development programme for teachers, Pathway visit


Glasgow-based Sublime launches Edify to help lecturers lead classes in immersive environments from anywhere in the world

Students will soon be able to explore and learn in virtual environments from anywhere in the world with the launch of Edify (, a new immersive learning platform.

Leading Scottish immersive technology company Sublime, in partnership with the University of Glasgow, has combined virtual reality learning and video conferencing to create Edify, helping to improve students’ remote teaching experience during the Covid-19 crisis.

The launch of Edify is the culmination of 2 years of development, with funding of over £2.5m since 2017, including from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Around £1m of that total was secured during the lockdown to support an acceleration of launch plans.

Sublime was founded by Martin McDonnell, Chris Bryson and Jonathan Knox. The company already employs 22 staff and is currently looking to employ a further 10 this year to meet its growth plans.

Having piloted immersive teaching with the University of Glasgow, Sublime is now launching the Edify platform with ten apps designed by academics for academics, created and built by gamers, technologists and philosophers to augment and optimise learning.

The pilot apps cover all four of the university’s colleges, and include a 3D model of the heart and a tour of the stomach to a virtual geological tour of Arran and a replica disease diagnostics laboratory, allowing students to go beyond the lecture theatre to explore virtual worlds, learn in impossible and challenging environments, and bend the rules of reality.

Students, studying topics including physics, history and anatomy, will be able to dial-in to their instructor’s 3D Lab or classroom environment, without the need for VR hardware, via popular communications platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which have come into their own in recent months.

Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the provision of on-campus teaching for student populations, Edify provides crucial access to shared learning experiences as the academic world adapts to the challenges presented by Covid-19. 

To mark the launch, Sublime is inviting Higher Education institutions to submit their ideas for 3D teaching environments on the Edify platform. The winners will have their environments funded and built for the upcoming academic year, with a selection of runners up selected as candidates for additional funding. Edify will also enable educators to generate and deploy their own teaching environments.  

Martin McDonnell, CEO and Co-Founder of Sublime, said: “Sublime have been on an exciting Research & Development journey into realising the potential of immersive learning over the last two years, but the global pandemic has required us to respond dynamically to unprecedented disruption to teaching delivery worldwide – something felt keenly by our project partners, University of Glasgow. With Edify we will help address this challenge by enabling learning without limits through an immersive, online, and remote teaching ecosystem.

 “Edify will enable educators and learners to meet in virtual versions of high-tech labs and amazing learning locations and is perfectly suited to delivering high quality outcomes under these unusual and challenging teaching conditions. With Edify, our aim is no less than to make the impossible, possible, for learners and educators alike.”

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “This is a dynamic and positive response to the challenging situation we are finding ourselves in during this unprecedented public health crisis. Edify has the potential to allow students to access many of the benefits of VR teaching from the comfort of their own homes while social distancing is in place.

“I can see great potential to enhance the remote teaching experience for those studying subject areas covered by this platform, allowing access to VR technology and recreating the experience of being together in a lab or classroom without the need for specialist hardware. I look forward to seeing how this develops.”

Dr Neil McDonnell, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (Philosophy) at the University’s College of Arts, said: “Using virtual 3D environments in teaching can be extraordinarily powerful, whether those environments are accessed via VR headsets, via Zoom, or on a laptop screen. Edify brings that power to teachers in a practical, accessible way, and the competition being announced today is an opportunity for lecturers to have their own virtual lab, classroom, or environment built on this exciting new platform.” 

Canva for Education growth fuels $6B valuation

Canva for Education, the free design and collaboration platform for schools that launched at the start of 2020, has seen its total monthly active users increase tenfold since March, highlighting how the tool has played a key role in keeping education alive during lockdown across the world. With the average Canva classroom designing 9.6 times more content than they were pre-lockdown, equating to more than 800 designs being created every hour, education institutions around the globe are reaping the benefits of adopting Canva to power rich online project- and inquiry- based learning.

There are now people across 90,000 schools and universities globally, using Canva every month; such a positive result has not only played a significant part in the organization’s recent valuation at US$6billion, it also reaffirms the valuable role Canva plays in leading the charge for the future of education – regardless of whether that takes place in a digital or tangible format.

Canva for Education, an entirely free offering for students and teachers worldwide, uses Canva’s intuitive drag-and-drop design tools millions have come to know and love. Tailored to the needs and requirements of schools worldwide, Canva’s Education platform empowers users to design education-specific content such as worksheets, lesson plans, how-to videos, infographics and presentations – just to name a few, through to an all-new collaboration space, a review workflow, version history plus much more; it is a one-stop-shop for creating and collaborating in the classroom.

Georgia Vidler, Director of Product at Canva commented, “The Canva platform is driven by one simple belief; technology should break down barriers, not build them, something that has been more essential than ever during lockdown. The ability to interpret, communicate and present ideas visually is critical for students to thrive in today’s world and prepare themselves to be the leaders of tomorrow. We’re proud of the way we have been able to help classes work together, even when they’re apart.”

High School Students with Autism to Get Help Finding Their Career Path

A Liverpool entrepreneur has launched the ‘first of its kind’ workshop for special educational needs high school students who want to find their path in life or set up their own business.

Francesca Manca, founder of Underwing has created the ‘Shaping Your Future’ programme. These sessions are for students with autism or special educational needs who are about to leave high school but don’t  know whether  higher education is for them/  have a business idea and need help turning it into a money-making business or job. 

Francesca came up with the idea because as a SEN mum she experiences first-hand the lack of services and help in picking a higher education path or a career for people with special needs. She is also really passionate about educating the world about special needs and autism in particular, and a fierce ambassador of equal opportunities. 

The workshops are delivered in partnership with schools across Merseyside and can be run individually or in small groups and tailored to suit the needs of the students involved. The full run includes four 90-minute sessions plus monthly follow-up accountability calls/emails/chats for six months. 

The sessions show students how to identify their passions, skills, and take into consideration their needs when choosing their chosen job or career; how to write a business plan; how to market their business and how to overcome their unique needs.

Francesca Manca, who works with entrepreneurs with special needs says, “This idea has been a long time in the making and I’m so excited to finally launch it. 

“As a PDA mum, I experience first hand the immense lack of services people with special needs have to cope with once out of education. There is not enough information, not enough mentoring, no one to help give them direction or simply suggesting what to do, and how to find their ideal jobs or start a successful business. Courses for neurotypical people don’t work as they never take into consideration any behaviour or thought process ‘outside the box’.

“My mission in life is to help people with special needs to go from a career/job where they are stressed, angered, overwhelmed, into a job/career they can do with passion, purpose and excitement. I can help special needs professionals change their job/career into one that doesn’t involve coping with stress and burnout, and is, instead, fulfilling and passionate. I help my clients eliminate the stress and anger of working in the wrong environment, and achieve their dream business/job in 8 weeks. So I figured that I could bring this work one step forward, and actually help who could be a future stressed out client pick the right path from the beginning!

“At Underwing we have a lot of experience working with people with autism and special educational needs and are well-versed on how to make working as stress-free and seamless as possible.

“Each individual can have their own restrictions such as sensory overload, needing longer breaks after meetings, struggling to complete important projects or being overwhelmed by too many social requests. 

“If students don’t have a business idea yet, that’s ok too. We’ll work with them to understand their limitations, champion their strengths and look at their interests to develop a business idea and identify a career path that works best for them.” 

If you would like to introduce the ‘Shaping Your Future’ programme at your high school, please email or or fill in the contact form on the website:

Government intervention can help bridge the COVID-19 attainment gap – but resources must be accessible to all

Optimism has been in short supply in education lately, but the recent announcement of a cash injection for schools, alongside a National Tutoring Programme, has the potential to make a big difference in helping children catch up after COVID-19 school closures.

There is significant work to do. A phased return to the classroom is further widening the attainment gap – where many children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have special educational needs, are being deprived of professional educational support. And, of course, the longer pupils stay away, the harder it will be for them to reinsert themselves into school life and focus on their school work upon return.

In fact, research from Explore Learning recently found that the Coronavirus pandemic means more than half of children (58%) worry about returning to school. But the virus itself isn’t the only driving force – diverging experiences during the lockdown period means fear over being seen as less intelligent than their peers (17%), are exacerbated. These anxieties are likely to become prevalent in those children who are not receiving educational support and encouragement.

That’s why the announcement of extra funding, together with a year-long National Tutoring Programme, is welcome.

Even before the pandemic, tutoring has been demonstrated to increase achievement and attainment, complementing in-school teaching. For some, like the Sutton Trust, tutoring – with proper, equitable access, represents a way to advance social mobility; helping develop the skills and attributes which will eventually lead to better employment opportunities. However, and particularly in the wake of COVID-19, we believe that it must be made more accessible and widely available in order to have widespread impact. 

But the government response already risks being divisive too. Currently, the planned £650m cash injection for schools is expected to be spread evenly among schools, with no additional resource for those in disadvantaged areas. In order to really close the “COVID gap”, the response needs to be weighted towards those from less well-off backgrounds as well as those with special educational needs.

Similarly, the government must ensure the National Tutoring Programme has a robust face-to-face element. Online learning is much easier logistically at the moment – and currently, pilots for the ‘National Tutoring Programme Partners’ strand are all online. But students who have struggled to access education during lockdown may well struggle to access online tutoring too, with a lack of devices or internet access proving prohibitive. What’s more, in-person support, and the presence of small groups learning in the same room, can help support the gradual transition to life back in the classroom for children who might struggle otherwise.

That’s why we believe that, if the Government is serious about supporting children in a return to learning, it must be aimed at reaching those who need it most to close the gap. Part of this is in targeting schools in less well off areas and ring fencing catch-up provision for students with special educational needs. This is in addition to delivering a fully blended approach, mixing online and socially distanced, in-person tuition. As well as improving the scheme’s reach, we know from running our tuition centres the value of the face-to-face element of tutoring in building confidence in children.

Indeed, while the effort to ensure children to keep learning has been a valiant one, the effort to make up educational ground won’t succeed without addressing some of the reasons why some children have fallen further behind than others during the past few months. That means any tutoring scheme needs to be accessible to those who need it most, offering the crucial two-way connection between teacher and learner, delivered at least partly in person to make sure the ‘technology gap’ doesn’t further increase the learning gap imposed by COVID-19.