The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to 'catch up' after and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time.
Schools’ allocations have been 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 have planned a number of ways in which we are spending this funding premium to ensure that pupils from reception to Year 6 'catch-up' and fulfil their potential. These strategies include:
- 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 continue to track pupils throughout the year using our bespoke assessment and tracking system in school and we will be using this system to monitor the impact of catch-up funding on pupil progress and attainment, ensuring that teachers, teaching assistants and SLT liaise regularly with the Assessment Coordinator and that further planning and implementation takes place when necessary. 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 are being supported to achieve their full potential and 'catch-up' throughout this academic year.