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Colleges, Sixth Forms and all 16-19 providers receive £96M funding boost for small group tutoring

Gavin Williamson

As part of @GavinWilliamson’s announcement today, disadvantaged pupils in schools and colleges will benefit from the second part of the catch-up fund, a £350m tutoring fund.

As part of the tutoring fund, DfE will also provide a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96M for colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

Funding figures released today (Monday 20th July) show how every pupil is to benefit from the second year of the Government’s school funding settlement worth a total of £14.4 billion over three years – the biggest increase in a decade. 

The investment will continue to deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to level up education funding and give all young people the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of where they grow up or go to school.

Schools are also set to receive significant investment from the Government’s £1 billion Covid catch-up package next academic year, with guidance and funding for schools published today (Monday).

Gillian Keegan100x100Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that we have secured an additional £96 million so colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers can provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

“The past few months have been extremely challenging for students, and we are really grateful to the FE sector for their hard work to support students to study online. This funding will make sure those that students who will benefit from additional tutoring support will get the help they need to get ahead.”

Boris Johnson 100x100Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Every child deserves a superb education – regardless of which school they attend, or where they happened to grow up.

“That is why we are providing additional funding now and for the future for every school – with those historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase.

“I want to again thank teachers, childcare workers and support staff for the brilliant work they have done throughout the pandemic, and for the preparations underway to welcome back all children from September.

“Our £1 billion covid catch-up package, on top of these increases in per pupil funding, will help head teachers support those who have fallen behind while out of school, and deliver a superb education for all children across the country.”

Gavin Williamson 100x100Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“This year has been incredibly challenging for schools, teachers, and students due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with everyone working in education going to incredible lengths to support children and ensure they can get back to the classroom.

“Not only are we confirming another year of increased and better targeted funding for our schools, but with our transformative national funding formula we are making sure the money is distributed fairly across the country so all schools can drive up standards. With two thirds of local authorities now having moved towards the national funding formula, it is time for the remainder to follow suit and ensure fairness for every child.

“Our £1 billion Covid catch up fund comes on top of this £14.4 billion three-year school funding boost, meaning that this government is leaving no stone unturned in levelling up opportunities for every young person up and down the country.”

Today’s announcement is a strong sign that the government recognises the unique role colleges play in getting the country’s young people back up to speed but, in future, it would be better to get these decisions out earlier. Most colleges have already set their budgets for 2020-1.”

Julian Gravatt100x100Julian Gravatt, Deputy Chief Executive, AoC said:

“The £96 million catch-up funding for disadvantaged 16 to 19-years-olds is a welcome step. We have argued all along that they deserve as much support to overcome the challenges thrown up by Covid-19 as every other age group, including their peers in schools. 

“The ringfenced funding for disadvantaged 16-19 students will allow colleges to be flexible in their support programmes and enable them to reach those most in need. For example, 70% of students resitting English and maths are from disadvantaged backgrounds and will need tailored and concentrated support to ensure they can succeed next academic year, despite the disruption.

“Today’s announcement is a strong sign that the government recognises the unique role colleges play in getting the country’s young people back up to speed but, in future, it would be better to get these decisions out earlier. Most colleges have already set their budgets for 2020-1.”

Disadvantaged pupils in schools and colleges will also benefit from the second part of the catch-up fund, a £350m tutoring fund. As part of the tutoring fund, DfE will provide a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96M for colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

From the second half of the 2020/21 autumn term, the National Tutoring Programme will provide support to disadvantaged pupils aged 5-16 in two ways: schools in all regions will be able to access heavily subsidised tuition from organisations on a list of approved partners, while some of the most disadvantaged schools will be supported to employ in-house academic mentors to provide intensive support to pupils.

Teach First has joined a coalition of charities with investment from the National Tutoring Programme and today begins recruitment of the first cohort of academic mentors. These recruits will work in schools serving disadvantaged communities to support pupils through one-to-one and small group tuition next academic year.

Russell Hobby 100x100Russell Hobby, Chief Executive of Teach First said:

 “We’re honoured to join the National Tutoring Programme and kick-off recruitment of the first wave of academic mentors. 

“Their salaries will be funded for schools and evidence shows that by working under the direction of experienced teachers they can be precisely deployed to support the children who need them most.”

Becky Francis 100x100Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:

“We are delighted to be working with colleagues at Teach First on the National Tutoring Programme. Their expertise in training and recruitment will complement the work of the programme partners.

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role of schools at the heart of communities, a role which will only continue as the sector works to mitigate against the impact of school closures in the next school year and beyond. School leaders will need to make difficult decisions about what to prioritise in the coming months, so it is right to recognise the tremendous strain the pandemic has placed on the sector, and on the necessary level of support, through this catch-up package.

“Our short guide aims to provide evidence and signposts to additional resources that schools can use to support those decisions.”

The increase comes in the second year of a three-year £14.4bn funding settlement for schools

Schools across England are set to receive a £4.8 billion boost in 2021 compared with 2019, in the next step to level up funding across the country.

Schools are already benefitting from this year’s increase of £2.6 billion, reflecting the first year of the settlement. Funding is being allocated through the transformative national school funding formula, which ensures schools from the largest city secondaries to the smallest community primaries are allocated funding more fairly to meet their pupils’ needs. This has replaced the unfair and outdated previous system, where schools with similar characteristics received very different levels of funding with little or no justification.

New data published today shows that two thirds of local authorities have now moved towards allocating their funding for schools based on the national funding formula, meaning that funding for schools is fairer.

Each secondary school will attract a minimum of £5,150 per pupil and each primary a minimum of £4,000 per pupil under the national funding formula from 2021, up from the £5,000 and £3,750 which schools are receiving this year in the first year of the funding settlement.

Extra funding for small and remote schools will increase by over 60 per cent, reflecting the financial challenges that these schools can face, and the unique role they play in local communities. Pupils and families in rural areas from Cumbria to Norfolk will benefit from support for their local schools to remain financially secure.

An additional protection built into the funding formula means every pupil, regardless of the amount of funding they currently receive, will attract a year-on-year increase of at least two per cent.

Most local authorities will see increases of over three per cent in the funding allocated per pupil, with only historically highly funded authorities seeing smaller increases.

Funding to cover increases to teacher pay and pensions worth £2 billion will also be included from 2021 rather than paid separately, reassuring schools that the funding will continue to be provided in their core budgets.

Whilst the number of councils moving closer to the national funding formula is significant progress, there is still more to do, and we will soon put forward plans to deliver funding to schools directly through the national funding formula so that all schools receive the funding they deserve.

Today the Government has also confirmed that allocations from the £650 million catch-up premium, one part of the overall £1 billion Covid catch-up package, will be based on the number of pupils and paid once a term over the 2020/21 academic year. A 1,000 pupil secondary school will receive £80,000 and a 200 pupil primary school will receive £16,000 to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on pupils as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Headteachers can decide how best to use their schools’ premium allocation to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on their pupils, but are encouraged to spend it on evidence-driven approaches including small group or one-to-one tuition, support over the summer, or additional support for great teaching.

Leora Cruddas, CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts, said:

“We are pleased that there will be a rise in per-pupil funding in England in 2021. It is very important that there is also an increase in funding for special education needs where the sector has felt significant cost pressures. It is important that education funding is not left behind during the response to the global pandemic.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“This funding is good news and will help schools plan and budget for next year, which has become even more vital due to the extra challenges caused by coronavirus.

“Councils continue to face immense demand pressures in providing vital care and support for children and young people with SEND and are running increasing deficits on their high needs budgets which finance SEND services.

“Following extra SEND funding for last year, councils need urgent clarification that there will be additional funding for SEND this year at least to meet the unprecedented rise in children and young people needing support.

“As well as additional funding, we want to work with government on reforming the SEND system to help all schools become more inclusive, so that more children with high needs can be appropriately supported in mainstream schools.”

Kate Green MP 100x100Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, responding to the government announcement on school funding, said:

 “Additional funding for schools is necessary and welcome, but it was this Conservative government that cut school budgets for the first time in a generation, and only began to provide additional investment due to tireless campaigning from parents, school staff, and the Labour Party.

“The fact is schools will still be worse off in 2023 than they were in 2010 under these plans, as a direct result of the Conservatives’ decision to cut school budgets.

“Far more must be done for every child to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

David Laws 100x100David Laws, Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said:

“The additional £650m for school catch-up work is badly targeted and is unlikely to prevent a widening of the learning gap between children from poor backgrounds and other pupils.

“It is clear from all surveys carried out since the lockdown period commenced that poorer children are much more likely to be suffering serious learning loss and to be falling badly behind. We know that prior to the pandemic, disadvantaged pupils were already 18 months behind in learning by the time they took their GCSEs. However, the government has decided to allocate the same amount of catch-up funding to a school in a highly affluent area as to a school in the poorest part of the country. It is difficult to see the rationale for such a decision, and it means that schools where as many as half or more of children are in poverty won’t have the extra resources they need to pay for interventions that we know can make a difference.

“The government talks about “levelling up” both school funding and life chances, without apparently realising that these policies are in conflict. Over the last 20 years, governments have chosen to skew funding towards disadvantaged pupils to help schools to combat the multiple learning disadvantages arising from poverty. This government seems inclined to reverse that trend – in spite of its stated objective to improve social mobility and life chances.

“It is concerning that the government has missed an opportunity to target extra funding to where it is most urgently needed. At a time when social mobility was already in danger of stalling, and with COVID significantly worsening the learning outlook for poor children, today’s decision could prove to be a costly mistake.”

Layla Moran100x100Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:
“The Conservatives’ spending plans show no understanding of the challenges facing schools in September. They have asked schools to open as normal when our Test and Trace system is faulty. Teachers must try to reverse the harm to children’s learning, development and mental health, when many disadvantaged children have disappeared off schools’ radars entirely during lockdown.
“In the face of this crisis, spending plans announced last year are utterly unfit for purpose. All the Government has added is a catch-up premium worth just £80 per pupil per year, and a tutoring fund. It’s simply not enough to pay for the small group teaching that Ministers say our children need.
“The pandemic requires us to invest in education at all levels on an unprecedented scale. That’s why Liberal Democrats have launched a five-point plan to re-open schools safely, provide laptops to those who need them and close the disadvantage gap, so that we can give every child a great start in life.”

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