In the summer of 2020, the government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up on lost time after school closure. Schools are instructed to use this funding for specific activities to support students to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the curriculum expectations for the next academic year.
Whilst schools can use their funding in a way that suits their cohort and circumstances, they are expected to use this funding for specific activities that will help pupils catch up on missed education.
The school’s allocation is calculated on a per-pupil basis. Mainstream schools receive £80 for each pupil from reception to year 11 inclusive. Haslingden High School had 1346 students on roll at the October 2020 census and has therefore received an allocation of £107,680.
The school will receive the funding in 3 tranches.
1. Autumn 2020
2. Early 2021 (This payment will also take account of the initial part payment made in autumn 2020 so that the school will receive a total of £46.67 per pupil across the first 2 payment rounds)
3. Summer 2021 term (a further £33.33 per pupil)
School leaders must be able to show they are using the funding to resume teaching a normal curriculum as quickly as possible following partial or full school closure. Governors and trustees should scrutinise schools’ approaches to catch-up from September 2020, including their plans for and use of catch-up funding. This should include consideration of whether schools are spending this funding in line with their catch-up priorities, and ensuring appropriate transparency for parents.
When routine inspections restart, Ofsted will make judgements about the quality of education being provided and how school leaders are using their funding and catch-up funding to ensure the curriculum has a positive impact on all pupils.
Allocation of funds – Strategy
In line with recommendations set out in the Education Endowment Foundation’s ‘Covid-19 Support Guide for Schools’, the funding will be spent in three key areas. These are:
- Teaching and whole-school strategies
- Targeted support
- Wider strategies
Teaching and whole-school strategies
The single biggest tool a school has to raise academic standards is to deliver high-quality teaching. In this area, opportunities are available for subject teams to bid for resources to enhance the delivery of their curriculum beyond what is already presented in a pre-Covid scheme of learning, or to supplement where Covid-19 restrictions prevent the delivery of the usual scheme (e.g. practical subjects and demonstrations). Examples this could include:
- online resources to which students can be directed where weaknesses are identified, or where revisiting can encourage knowledge retrieval and retention
- assessment activities that identify and advise where ‘gaps’ are present which can then be addressed in lesson time
- additional resources to allow students to continue to access the planned curriculum. e.g. hand tools in design technology to reduce students sharing, sterilising materials to enable students to continue cooking in food technology
Whilst the whole school strategies can be utilised to improve outcomes for a wide range of students, there will also be individuals or small groups of students who have been disadvantaged in specific areas and where subsequently more targeted support will be required. Again, subject teams have the opportunity to bid for funding to support these strategies. Examples of this may include:
- One-to-one or small group intervention programmes, in a range of subjects, which could run after school, over half term breaks, or even on Saturday mornings.
- Additional tutors employed to provide small group tuition during school hours
- Introduction of a phonics teacher to support literacy
N.B. Where subjects bid for funding to support whole-school or targeted strategies, these will be subject to the criteria that they support students to catch up where they have been disadvantaged by the global pandemic, or where they allow students to access the planned curriculum in a manner that would not be possible under Covid-19 restrictions. A template is available for submitting a bid (Appendix 1).
There are a significant number of barriers to learning which students will encounter whilst working in a world with Covid-19 restrictions, with positive contacts and periods of isolation becoming increasingly common. The funding for wider strategies will support students, parents and carers in ensuring that barriers are minimised. Key areas, in particular, are pastoral and technical support and we anticipate that this is where the funding will predominantly be allocated. Examples of this may include:
- Appointment of additional pastoral staff to liaise with students and parents during periods of isolation, ensuring that students have access to all necessary materials
- Technical support available to ensure students have access to necessary materials which will minimise the disruption to learning. In particular, this will include providing devices to maintain internet access at home.