North East educators have "significant concerns" about plans which could see kids staying in the classroom over the summer.
Last week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a further £502m fund to help students who've fallen behind during the coronavirus lockdown get back up to speed.
The pot includes a £302 million “recovery premium” for schools to support catch-up work, and £200m for tutoring and summer schools programmes.
Meanwhile the Education Secretary said he was considering a "whole expanse" of options to get children back on track, refusing to rule out lengthening the school day or extending the term further into the summer.
Chris Zarraga, Director of Schools North East, said the funding boost was "very welcome", particularly for disadvantaged pupils whose learning had been hit hardest during the pandemic.
But, he said schools needed "far greater discretion" over how they help pupils catch up. While a significant proportion of the £200 million pot will fund the expansion of National Tutoring Programme, which was created to help schools and pupils recover from Covid-19, Schools North East says less than 20% of local school leaders it surveyed were engaging with the programme, making it a poor choice for the region.
"School leaders have commented on the lack of available mentors, as well as a lack of engagement from students, with many also feeling that external tutors are not best placed to support their students," a spokesperson for the body said.
And Mr Zarraga insisted plans to make students work over the summer could be bad for both children and teachers, if they involved a heavy focus on academic achievement.
He said: "Furthermore, with significant concerns around staff mental health and wellbeing with increased workloads due to facilitating both in class teaching and remote learning, proposals to run ‘catch up’ programmes over the summer break are likely to exacerbate low morale.
"Summer programmes focusing on academic catch up are unlikely to receive positive engagement from students and need to focus on physical wellbeing, and social and emotional development, which has also been severely impacted due to Covid.
He added: "Most importantly, we don’t yet know the full extent of the ‘learning loss’ students have suffered, and before implementing any plans to combat this, policymakers should be working with school leaders to discover exactly what has been ‘lost’ and then develop long term solutions."
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Announcing the education funding plans, the Prime Minister tweeted: "When schools reopen on 8 March, I want to make sure no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.
"A new £700m package of catch-up funding will help teachers support their pupils as they return to the classroom."
Asked whether school days could be lengthened or the summer break cut, Mr Williamson told Sky News: “We’re looking at a whole range of different actions.
“What we wanted to do was give schools the extra resources they needed to be able to take action immediately.
“Some of the reforms we want to look at and sort of consult on will look at the whole expanse of what we can do in terms of helping children have extra teaching time, have extra opportunities.
“But this is an immediate response to give those children that extra boost.”