I spoke in the House of Commons about the education catch-up and mental health recovery programmes. 80% of schools in our region who responded to a survey said that the government’s education recovery package wasn’t enough to address the impact of the pandemic.
Absenteeism is also a problem. Since the start of the pandemic each pupil has had an average of 115 days out of school. I am concerned that the North East of England saw the highest rise in absence compared with anywhere else in the country last year.
I highlighted three key areas the government must focus on to prevent further disruption. Namely, testing, classroom ventilation and vaccines.