Covid-19 Education Catch-up Fund

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Minister (Education), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to ensure that the £1bn ‘catch-up’ funding will be distributed to support students who most need assistance.

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

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. That is why 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 2020/21 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time. Though funding has been calculated on a per pupil or per place basis, schools should use the sum available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for pupils according to their need. On 20 July, the Department published further guidance which outlined that, through the catch up premium, a 1,000 pupil secondary school will receive £80,000 and a 200 pupil primary school will receive £16,000. The guidance is clear that schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances. To support schools to make best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools with evidence based approaches to catch up for all students:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

Although all children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. That is why, alongside the universal catch up premium, the Government has announced a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help. The programme will comprise of two parts in the 2020/21 academic year. For 5 to 16 year olds, the programme will make high quality tuition available to 5 to 16 year olds in state-funded primary and secondary schools from the second half of autumn term 2020. The programme will be highly subsidised, and schools will be able to use their additional catch-up premium funding to pay for the remainder of the cost. For 16 to19 year olds, funding will be available for school sixth forms, colleges and all other 16 to 19 providers to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19.

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