Literacy

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Rebuck Baroness Rebuck Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Prime Minister on 4 November (HC Deb, col 318), whether literacy is intended to be a part of the tutoring programme; and if so, (1) what plans they have to survey literacy levels across all age groups, (2) whether the tutoring will be available to all schools across England, and (3) what steps they are taking to ensure that adequate funding is available for that programme.

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

We are providing £1 billion of catch-up support to schools to help make up for lost learning. All schools with pupils aged 5-16 are receiving their share of the £650 million catch-up premium, which can be used to prioritise support for all pupils. We are spending up to £350 million on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP will provide additional, targeted support to disadvantaged children and young people in schools across England who need the most help to catch-up.

The NTP for 5-16 years olds went live on 2 November. The NTP offers tuition support for a range of curriculum subjects, including English, at both primary and secondary level. It is important that decisions about what support pupils receive are made locally by those who understand their needs. As such, teachers use their professional judgement to determine which pupils would most benefit from NTP support based on their need. Further information about the launch of the NTP is available here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/news/national-tutoring-programme-launches-in-schools.

Additionally, the NTP is supporting an oral language programme for reception-aged children. Any state-funded school with a reception class was able to register their interest in delivering the programme, with priority given to those schools with the highest levels of disadvantage (percentage of free school meals). Participating schools will begin delivery in January 2021. Further information about the oral language programme is available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/neli/.

We are also making funding available to school sixth forms, colleges, and all other 16-19 providers to offer support small group tuition for lower attaining 16-19 year olds, in English, maths, and other courses where learning has been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Further information about this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-16-to-19-tuition-fund.

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