• Government puts COVID catch ups on the curriculum

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    Children in England are set to take part in a £1 billion Covid “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time during the coronavirus lockdown.

    As plans continue for a full return to education from September, the government says £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020/21 academic year.

    Whilst head teachers will decide how the money is spent, the government expects this to be spent on small group tuition for whoever needs it.

    This one-off grant to support pupils in state education recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the pandemic, regardless of their income or background.

    Separately, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people over the 2020/21 academic year.

    This will help accelerate their academic progress and prevent the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening.

    This £1 billion package is on top of the £14 billion three-year funding settlement announced last year – recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.

    The National Tutoring Programme is designed to reach up to two million of England’s most disadvantaged children.

    The Government says its ambition is that all providers running holiday clubs and activities for children over the summer holiday will be able to open, ‘if the science allows’.

    Guidance will be provided to the sector on how to implement the protective measures necessary to open safely, and to parents on how to minimise the spread of the virus if they choose to attend.

    The Education Endowment Foundation has also published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this funding to best support their pupils and their outcomes.

    It provides advice on support strategies schools can use in deciding how to support pupils, including intervention programmes, extra teaching capacity, access to technology or summer schools.

    The Department for Education has also invested more than £100 million in remote education – including delivering laptops and internet access to those who need them most.

    Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said: “Despite the heroic efforts of schools, many pupils’ learning has suffered as a result of school closures. These children are drawn disproportionately from disadvantaged communities and need extensive support.

    “We are delighted that the government is announcing a large sum today to benefit those pupils who need it the most. We are proud to support the tutoring programme. Extensive trials show that high-quality tuition is a cost-effective way to enable pupils to catch up. Through a collaboration of organisations across the country, our aim is to make this tuition available to tens of thousands of primary and secondary school pupils. Our hope is that it becomes a powerful tool for teachers in the years to come.”


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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