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Ensuring schoolchildren’s well-being and education in the aftermath of COVID-19

A partnership between the Danish government, Local Government Denmark (KL) and several foundations is launching a DKK 86 million initiative to support the well-being and education of children in disadvantaged circumstances. The initiative will help them catch up on their education following the COVID-19 lockdowns. The Novo Nordisk Foundation is awarding DKK 50 million of the total.

The COVID-19 lockdowns in Denmark have severely affected schoolchildren in disadvantaged circumstances. They have learned less during the long periods of home schooling, and for many, the time away from peers and school has reduced their desire to learn. The Danish government, a broad majority of the parliamentary parties and several foundations have therefore decided to invest in special educational initiatives for disadvantaged children. The Novo Nordisk Foundation is supporting the initiative by awarding DKK 50 million.

The initiatives launched can include services such as teaching in small groups, providing additional teachers or resource people or intensive learning courses. The initiatives will strengthen the efforts of Denmark’s municipalities and schools working with disadvantaged schoolchildren and will take place in the children’s natural communities and based on local needs.

Ensuring optimal long-term conditions for children
All of Denmark’s 98 municipalities will receive a guide that helps them to identify children facing special challenges following the lockdowns and the special support the municipalities can offer them. In the long term, the initiative will also provide experience with knowledge-based initiatives focused on the target group.

Twenty-five municipalities with especially many children in the target group have been selected to receive financial support.

“At the Novo Nordisk Foundation, we are pleased to be able to contribute to boosting the education and well-being of the children who need it most. It is important for us that together we can throw these children a lifeline in broad public–private partnership with state agencies and the municipalities. We have high expectations that the initiative can create general capacity building in the schools and that the built-in evaluation can create knowledge and understanding of how we ensure the optimal long-term conditions for children,” says Søren Nedergaard, Chief Operating Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

About the initiative on the well-being and education of disadvantaged children

  • The initiative is receiving DKK 86 million.
  • Of this, DKK 77 million is for long-term educational initiatives. The Danish government is providing DKK 27 million and the Novo Nordisk Foundation DKK 50 million.
  • The funds will be distributed to 25 selected municipalities based on registry data.
  • The municipalities will receive help and guidance for the initiative from the National Board of Social Services and the National Agency for Education and Quality.
  • Nearly DKK 9 million has been spent on summer holiday camps and activities for disadvantaged children and adolescents, for which the Danish government has provided DKK 5 million and VILLUM FONDEN DKK 4 million.
  • The Danish Center for Social Science Research (VIVE) will evaluate the initiative, and the Egmont Foundation is supporting the initiative with knowledge on teaching and educating disadvantaged children.

Read more in the press release from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens (in Danish).

Further information
Sabina Askholm Larsen, Communications Partner, +45 2367 3226, [email protected]

Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens, Press Office: +45 4185 1360