The government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to 'catch up' after and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools had the support they needed to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time.
Schools’ allocations were calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to 11.
Schools are required to use this funding for specific activities to support their pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.
Schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances.
At Vernon Primary School, we planned a number of ways in which we planned to spend this funding premium to ensure that pupils from reception to Year 6 'catch-up' and fulfil their potential. These strategies included:
- Employing an additional member of staff to provide bespoke interventions and support, targeting individual and groups of pupils to achieve their FFTD targets.
- Additional Teaching Assistant hours to deliver bespoke packages of support for specific pupils.
- Purchasing of resources to supplement teaching and learning, such as web-cams, an elibrary and Google Classroom.
- Additional time for Subject Leaders to support teachers in identifying gaps in learning from Spring and Summer 2020 and planning the delivery of these additional learning objectives to individuals, groups and whole classes.
We continued to track pupils throughout the academic year 2020-21 using our bespoke assessment and tracking system in school and we used this system to monitor the impact of catch-up funding on pupil progress and attainment, ensuring that teachers, teaching assistants and SLT liaised regularly with the Assessment Coordinator and that further planning and implementation took place when necessary and continues to do so. Teachers will continue to communicate regularly with parents to inform them of any gaps in a child's understanding and the ways in which they were supported to achieve their full potential and 'catch-up' throughout last academic year and well as moving forwards into 2021-22.