The Liberal Democrats have accused Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, of breaking more promises as new statistics from the Department for Education revealed 216,000 children have missed school over two weeks, a rise of 47%.
Despite the Education Secretary’s promises to tackle these absences “head on” in October, these figures show 1 in 50 students have missed school during the last two weeks.
This is in addition to his broken promises on “investing in schools” to beat Covid, with the Government only stumping up one-third of the recommended catch up funding.
Zahawi also promised to “do far more for vulnerable children”, yet IFS figures show that the most deprived schools have been hit the hardest and the failure of the National Tutoring Programme.
The party also says he has not listened to pupils and families, nor put wellbeing at the centre of his policies by his inability to tackle these rising absences.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said: “Nadhim Zahawi promised to “get a grip” but has broken almost every promise he has made in his short time as Education Secretary.
“His failures are hurting our children’s learning. Every week that he fails to get to grips with the situation represents thousands of lost learning hours, putting our children’s education at risk and losing the trust of parents.
“He must outline a clear strategy, to avoid school closures and significantly reduce absences before Christmas. After the walking disaster that was Gavin Williamson, children and their parents deserve someone better who will move heaven and earth to put their needs first.”