Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th July 2020.

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Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Labour, Ealing, Southall

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to allocate funding from the public purse for the provision of summer schools for children in the state sector during the 2020 summer holidays.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government have announced a universal catch-up premium of £650 million which will be shared between all state-funded primary, secondary, and special schools in England. This premium will be in addition to schools’ core budgets for the 2020/21 academic year.

The universal catch-up premium has been set up to support schools to provide catch-up provision for those who need it most as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for schools to decide how to allocate it in the most effective way, as they will know best their specific needs.

Provision could include, for example, intervention programmes, extra teaching capacity, access to technology and / or the provision of summer schools. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools to make best use of this funding: This includes advice on summer schools and links to the Teach First Toolkit that is specifically focussed on the provision of summer schools.

In addition, the government has confirmed £9 million of funding to support Holiday Activity and Food programmes in 17 local authorities across England.

A wide range of charities, youth and sports providers will also be offering developmental programmes for young people over the summer including, for example, the National Citizen Service (NCS). NCS will be providing a range of activities to further education colleges and schools over the summer and autumn to support young people develop life knowledge and re-engage with education.

The Government understands the importance of holiday activities in providing opportunities that allow children to socialise and interact with others outside of their household whilst promoting their wellbeing. The Department for Education has therefore published guidance for providers of community activities, holiday and after-school clubs as well as other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5, which sets out the protective measures that need to be in place to ensure that such settings can open as safely as possible.

Alongside this, the Department has published guidance for parents and carers on the precautions they should be taking if they are thinking of sending their child to any provision over the summer period.

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