This week, we announced increased funding and extra help for pupils to combat lost learning as a result of Covid-19. This will reach children and young people across the country and will empower early years settings, schools and colleges to offer additional support to pupils who have suffered.
What have you announced?
We have announced a package of measures giving early years settings, schools and providers of 16-19 education the tools they need to target support to their students, tailored to the differing impact the pandemic has had on each individual. An additional £700m is being put into these measures, bringing total Government investment in catch up to £1.7bn.
Are you cutting the summer holidays and extending the school day?
Not at this stage. This package is about getting extra immediate support out to students to help them boost their learning. So that means extra tutoring in schools and colleges and better early language support in reception year and nurseries, more cash for schools to spend on evidence-based interventions based on their pupils’ needs and optional summer schools for this summer for secondary-aged pupils most in need of support.
Aside from this extra funding, we’ve appointed an education expert – Sir Kevan Collins – as our Education Recovery Commissioner to work with parents, pupils and teachers to see what exactly and what else government, early years settings, schools and colleges can do right now and in the future to help children and young people to catch up their learning.
So what’s the detail?
There are three key elements here .
First, extra funding (over £200m) to provide 1-1 and small group tutoring in schools and colleges and targeted support for early language development for children in Reception year and nurseries. This means that hundreds of thousands of children and young people will now be able to access high quality support.
Second, a summer schools programme for secondary-aged pupils most in need of additional support (£200m). More details will follow shortly on how schools can set up their summer schools if needed.
Third, extra cash in the form of a ‘Recovery Premium’ going directly to schools for them to spend on evidence-based interventions to help children and also funding to scale up what we know works in this area. This money comes on top of core schools funding and Pupil Premium and means that the average primary school will get around £6000 extra and the average secondary around £22,000 extra for them to spend on helping children to catch up.
My child has suffered from school closures – how do they get extra support?
Speak to your child’s teacher or Headteacher Principal to find out what extra support your child or young person might need from their early years provider, school or college, whether that’s extra tutoring in their school or college, summer schools, early language support or access to additional evidence-based interventions in this space.
For young children in early years education settings, we have invested £18m to support language development, helping to close gaps at a critical stage of child development. £8m of this will be available for reception year early language provision, enabling the Nuffield Early Language Intervention to be offered to more schools in the next academic year and an additional £10m of this will be allocated to a pre-reception early language programme, to support staff in early years settings.
Meanwhile, our summer school plan will support schools to offer a two-week summer school with academic and enrichment activities. We suggest that this is aimed initially at incoming year 7 pupils, although schools may also choose to include other pupils where they identify a need. We are suggesting year 7 pupils because pupils leaving primary school this year may have missed a significant proportion of KS2 face to face teaching and therefore missed valuable preparation for secondary education. Where a school runs a summer school for its incoming year 7, those pupils will be able to familiarise themselves with their new school environment and get to know their fellow pupils. Summer schools offer a specific intervention to help these pupils make a successful transition at this crucial stage in their education. Secondary schools will work closely with their feeder primary schools to identify and invite the pupils who would benefit the most. Schools will know their older pupils well and will be able to identify those they wish to invite to summer school.
For older students, the National Tutoring Programme is designed to reach the most disadvantaged pupils in England. State-maintained primary and secondary schools in England will be able to access both the Tuition Partners and Academic Mentors and use them to support children who are most at risk of falling behind as a result of the pandemic. And the 16-19 Tuition Fund will provide small-group tutoring in maths, English, academic and vocational subjects for students in 16-19 education who need extra support.
Will parents have to pay to send their children to summer schools?
The funding we have provided to schools enables them to deliver a significant number of free places. Individual schools will decide how to use their funding, prioritising those children that need the help most.
How many summer schools do you expect will operate? What will they teach, when and what hours? How big will they be?
We are not setting a specific target – schools can opt in to deliver a summer school if it best needs of pupils, though of course we would encourage them to do so.
The funding available supports a 2-week scheme for secondary-aged pupils most in need. School leaders will decide the size and shape of the summer schools as they know best what a most effective summer school will look like for their pupils. We expect most schools will want to offer a mix of academic, enrichment and pastoral activity.
Who are the summer schools for?
We’re giving schools with secondary-aged pupils the flexibility to target the summer schools depending on the needs of their pupils. We suggest that they could be aimed initially at incoming year 7 pupils, although schools may also choose to include other pupils where they identify a need. We are suggesting year 7 pupils because pupils leaving primary school this year may have missed a significant proportion of KS2 teaching and therefore missed valuable preparation for secondary education. Where a school runs a summer school for its incoming year 7, those pupils will be able to familiarise themselves with their new school environment and get to know their fellow pupils. Summer schools offer a specific intervention to help these pupils make a successful transition at this crucial stage in their education.
Secondary schools will work closely with their feeder primary schools to identify and invite the pupils who would benefit the most. Schools will know their older pupils well and will be able to identify those they wish to invite to summer school.
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Education in the media is the Department for Education’s blog on the latest topical education and equalities issues. This blog features a review of leading media stories, rebuttal to news stories, as well as Ministerial comment.
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