Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blunkett Lord Blunkett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what information schools have received about (1) their eligibility to access the COVID-19 related funding announced on 19 June and 20 July, (2) the amount of such funding they are likely to be entitled to, and (3) the timeframe for receiving such funding.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

On 19 June, the government announced a £1 billion COVID-19 catch up package, including a £650 million catch up premium to help schools support all pupils and the £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged students. 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. To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students, available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1 and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021, available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

On 20 July, the government published guidance setting out further information on the package, including details of the £650 million catch up premium. The funding will be available for all state-funded mainstream and special schools, and alternative provision. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium.

All pupils have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, so schools’ allocations from the catch-up premium will be calculated on a per pupil basis. This will provide each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil and special, alternative provision and hospital schools with £240 for each place, across the 2020/21 academic year. We have applied additional weighting to specialist settings, recognising the significantly higher per pupil costs they face.

The funding is to support catch up across the academic year and will therefore be provided in 3 tranches. We will provide schools with an initial part payment in autumn 2020, based on the latest available data. This will ensure schools do not need to delay in setting up programmes. We will then distribute a second grant payment in early 2021, based on actual pupil and place data for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, and a final payment will be made in the summer term 2021.

In addition to the catch-up premium, we will spend up to £350 million on a National Tutoring Programme, to provide targeted support to disadvantage and vulnerable pupils. The programme, which has 2 strands will commence from November 2020. Through the Tuition Partners strand, schools will be eligible to access heavily subsidised tuition from an approved list of tuition partners for their pupils. Through our Academic Mentors strand, schools in the most disadvantaged areas can apply for support to employ in-house Academic Mentor to provide small group and 1:1 tuition to their pupils. Further information can be found here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/faqs.

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