The government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure. This is especially important for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.
This funding includes a one-off universal 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. Funding will not be added to schools’ baselines in calculating future years’ funding allocations.
School allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis. Mainstream schools will get £80 for each pupil in from reception to year 11 inclusive. For mainstream schools, funding will be calculated using 4 to 15 pupil headcount from the October 2020 census.
Using catch-up funding
Schools have autonomy in how to best use their funding to best suit their cohort and circumstances. In principle, funding is to be used for specific activities that will help pupils catch up on missed education; to support pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the curriculum expectations for the next academic year. It will be used in unison with the pupil premium funding to ensure a rounded approach to closing the attainment gap and ensuring the best outcomes for our pupils.
To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a coronavirus (COVID-19) support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students. This guide has been used by Downderry to implement its catch-up plan effectively, based on sound educational research. Ref. EEF, The school planning guide: 2020 to 2021.
Downderry’s catch up Premium Strategy is organised as follows:
Accountability: school leaders and governors
School leaders are accountable and 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.
Monitoring by Ofsted
Ofsted visits will include discussions about how schools are using their catch-up funding to ensure the curriculum has a positive impact on all pupils.