26 January 2021

Covid-19 Catch-Up Premium 

The DfE has allocated £650 million to be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to enable them to do so. Whilst headteachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools. For pupils with complex needs, schools should spend this funding on catch-up support to address their individual needs. There is also an allocation of £350 million for a National Tutoring Programme, intended to deliver proven and successful tuition to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. However the guidance has changed and as such may not meet the needs of our students. This will be reviewed regularly as guidance and feedback of the effectiveness is collated for Year 11 students.
The DfE has also set out the following Curriculum Expectations, to ensure that all pupils – particularly disadvantaged, SEND and vulnerable pupils – are given the catch-up support needed to make substantial progress by the end of the academic year.

Education is not optional
All pupils receive a high-quality education that promotes their development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The curriculum remains broad and ambitious
All pupils continue to be taught a wide range of subjects, maintaining their choices for further study and employment.

Remote education

DfE asks that schools meet the following key expectations:
1. Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content…In particular, schools may consider how all subjects can contribute to the filling of gaps in core knowledge, for example through an emphasis on reading.
2. Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.
3. Plan based on the educational needs of pupils. Curriculum planning should be informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills.
4. Develop remote education so that it is integrated into school curriculum planning.

Schools should set out how they will allocate the additional funding to support curriculum recovery this academic year. The EEF guidance suggests a 3-tiered* approach: 
1 Teaching
• High-quality teaching for all
• Effective diagnostic assessment
• Supporting remote learning
• Focusing on professional development

2 Targeted academic support
• High-quality one to one and small group tuition
• Teaching Assistants and targeted support
• Academic tutoring
• Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

3 Wider strategies
• Supporting pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs
• Planning carefully for adopting a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum
• Communicating with and supporting parents
• Supporting parents with pupils of different ages
• Successful implementation in challenging times

As with all government funding, school leaders and governors must be able to account for how the money is being used. Therefore, the impact and spending strategy for this catch-up premium will be reviewed at every Resources meeting throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. When Ofsted re-commence routine inspections, they will make judgements about the quality of education being provided which will include how you are using the funding to ensure the curriculum has a positive impact on all pupils.