Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit.
The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up. This includes a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time.
Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to 11.
Use of funds
Schools should use this funding for specific activities to support their pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.
Schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances.
To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a coronavirus (COVID-19) support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students. Schools should use this document to help them direct their additional funding in the most effective way. This could include, for example:
To support schools to implement their catch-up plans effectively, EEF has published the school planning guide: 2020 to 2021. This will provide further guidance on how schools should implement catch-up strategies when they return in September and supporting case studies to highlight effective practice.
As with all government funding, school leaders must be able to account for how this money is being used to achieve our central goal of schools getting back on track and teaching a normal curriculum as quickly as possible.
Given their role in ensuring schools spend funding appropriately and in holding schools to account for educational performance, governors and trustees should scrutinise schools’ approaches to catch-up from September, including their plans for and use of catch-up funding. This should include consideration of whether schools are spending this funding in line with their catch-up priorities, and ensuring appropriate transparency for parents. As such, all DDAT schools need to complete the individual expenditure plan below and submit this to the CEO prior to funding being released.
As part of their inspections, Ofsted will make judgements about the quality of education being provided, and that will include how leaders are using their funding (including catch-up funding and remote learning) to ensure the curriculum has a positive impact on all pupils.