Longer school days should be introduced to help pupils recover from lost learning time during the Coid-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) think tank has called for a three-year funding package of £13.5 billion to reverse the disruption to education in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already made £1.7 billion of catch-up funding available in England to help children who have faced disruption from school and college closures due to Covid-19.

As part of the recovery package, this year summer school will be introduced for pupils who need it the most, while tutoring schemes will be expanded.

But the report calls for a bigger response from the government.

Longer school days, more incentives for teachers to work in “challenging areas”, and allowing pupils to retake a year are suggestions in the report.

Natalie Perera, EPI chief executive, said: “If the Government is committed to building back better and preventing the harmful and long-term consequences of Covid, then it needs to provide a serious funding boost of around £13.5 billion over this parliament to schools, early years settings and colleges.

“We are calling on the Government to implement a series of effective, evidence-based policies from this September to support children and young people – not only with their learning, but with their wellbeing and mental health too.”

David Laws, executive chairman of the EPI, said: “Over the last year, children have fallen badly behind in their learning, and those who are disadvantaged have suffered most acutely. We have seen the worst disruption to education in our country since the Second World War.

“If the pandemic is not to scar this generation of young people, the Prime Minister needs to put in place an ambitious education recovery plan, based on sound evidence and sufficient funding.

“If we fail to make good the lost learning, there will be significant adverse implications for skills, earnings, economic growth and social mobility.”

The Education Secretary has confirmed that a change to the summer holidays and longer school days are being looked at as part of the long-term recovery plan for pupils who have missed out on lessons.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said extending school hours and opting for summer schemes “have a great deal of merit as long as they are properly resourced and do not increase the workload of leaders and teachers to an even more unsustainable level”.

He added: “But there are also many other very important proposals in this package, including increased funding for disadvantaged children in the early years, and disadvantaged students in 16-19 education, which seem so obviously right that the Government simply must act.

“In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from the education recovery commissioner Sir Kevan Collins on the plans he is currently developing, and we appeal to the Government to ensure that it backs up these plans with the funding that is so clearly required both immediately and in the longer term.”