Education: West Midlands

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure children and young people in (a) Dudley, (b) Sedgley and (c) Gornal and Woodsetton can catch up on the education missed during the 2019-20 school year as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

The Government recognises that all children and young people have had their education disrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department has committed to a £1 billion catch-up package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time on children in England.

The catch-up premium, worth £650 million, provides universal funding which is delivered in 3 payments to schools over the 2020/21 academic year. The Department expects this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support pupils to catch up in their education.?To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up, available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1. EEF have published a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021, available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

The first payment of the catch-up premium funding has been made to schools. The autumn payment and provisional allocations for schools in the local authority of Dudley is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium-provisional-allocations. These allocations are based on the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available.

Alongside this, the catch-up package includes a National Tutoring Programme (NTP) for disadvantaged children and young people. This scheme will provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged 5 to 16 year olds who need the most help to catch up. The programme has 2 pillars which can be accessed by schools. Firstly, schools will be able to access high-quality, subsidised tuition from approved Tuition Partners. Schools in Dudley, Sedgley or Gornal and Woodsetton can access Tuition Partners in their area here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/ntp-tuition-partners. The second pillar supports schools in the most disadvantaged areas to employ in-house academic mentors who can provide small group and one-to-one tuition to selected pupils. If schools in Dudley, Sedgley or Gornal and Woodsetton would like to check their eligibility or register their interest for a mentor, they can do so here: https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/hire-academic-mentors.

In addition to the 5 to 16 programme, the NTP will also provide funding to support to small group tuition for 16 to 19 years olds and the improvement of early language skills for reception-aged children. Information about tuition for 16 to 19 year olds is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-16-to-19-tuition-fund. Information about the improvement of early language skills for reception-age children is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/catch-up-premium-coronavirus-covid-19/the-reception-year-early-language-programme-neli.

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