KIDS kept out of the classroom over the last year will lose a combined £350bn in their lifetimes, according to a bombshell report.
Pupils learning from home during the pandemic will each lose around £40,000 or £1,000 a year for six months of lost schooling according to Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Kids who are kept out of the classroom over the last year will lose £40,000 of lost schoolingCredit: PA:Press Association
The report ramps up pressure on ministers to get teachers jabbed as soon as possible.
Former PM Tony Blair said there is “a very strong case” for moving teachers up the vaccine priority list.
He said the jabs could be done in “two days” and added: “I do think there is a very strong case for vaccinating teachers in order to get the schools back.
“I think that is a reasonable thing to do in these circumstances if it helps allow you to get the schools back sooner.”
But Cabinet minister Liz Truss suggested more of the most vulnerable members of the public could die if teachers are moved up the list.
Asked if teachers should be moved up the priority list, she told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The issue is that for every person you vaccinate who isn’t in the most vulnerable group, that’s somebody in the most vulnerable group who isn’t getting their vaccine and who is more likely to die in the next few weeks and months.
“I just don’t think that’s right.”
Labour is calling for teachers to receive the jab before schools return, but after those in the four most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated, which is anticipated by mid-February.
Although Labour’s Rachel Reeves appeared to get confused over the policy – claiming teachers and other key workers should be bumped up after phase one – which is after all overs 50s have been jabbed.
She said: “We know that some people, because of the work that they do are more exposed to the virus.
“For example, a bus driver or a taxi driver or you work in a supermarket or you work on the frontline in the police.
“If you work in those jobs, you are more exposed to the virus and so what Labour are saying is that the JCVI, the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation, should work out how they can ensure that those people who are most exposed to the virus get access to it at a bit of an earlier stage.”
The IFS are calling for a “massive injection” of resources to help pupils catch up.
Their paper warns: “Without significant remedial action, lost learning will translate into reduced productivity, lower incomes, lower tax revenues, higher inequality and potentially expensive social ills.
“The lack of urgency or national debate on how to address this problem is deeply worrying.”
Luke Sibieta, research fellow at the IFS, added: “The inescapable conclusion is that lost learning represents a gigantic long-term risk for future prosperity, the public finances, the future path of inequality and wellbeing.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We will invest a further £300 million in tutoring programmes, building on the existing £1bn Covid Catch Up Fund, but the Prime Minister was clear last week that extended schools closures have had a huge impact on pupils learning, which will take more than a year to make up.
“The Government will work with parents, teachers and schools to develop a long-term plan to make sure pupils have the chance to make up their learning over the course of this parliament.