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Covid-19 Catch Up Premium

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest-hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.

We know that we have the professional knowledge and expertise in the education system to ensure that children and young people recover and get back on track. Returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical to our national recovery, and the government intends for schools and colleges to fully open in September.  The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up. 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.”        

Department for Education website, 2020

Funding Allocation

Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per-pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to Year 6.

As the catch-up premium has been designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the grant will only be available for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. It will not be added to schools’ baselines in calculating future years’ funding allocations.

Use of funds

Schools should 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. (See also EEF - School Planning Guide 2020-21)

Schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances.

How are we using our Catch-up funding at Belmont School?

We will use the Catch-Up Premium as a single total to fund specific activities to support all children to catch up on missed education since March 2020. The funding will not be used on a per pupil basis, as some children need more support and others less. The funding will be prioritised where the evidence suggests it is needed most.

The school will develop and implement plans and evaluate the impact of the Catch-up Premium

The school is using additional to the funding on top of the Catch-up Premium to ensure that children are where they should be by the end of summer 2021.

What are the barriers to overcome?

  • Working below expected in reading, writing or maths with gaps in understanding, due to lockdown or repeated self-isolation which is limiting progress
  • Emotional and mental health needs of the child and wider family
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Limited engagement in home learning when self-isolating
  • Lack of IT devices at home to support home learning

Accountability and monitoring

As with all government funding, school leaders must be able to account for how this money is being used to achieve our central goal of schools getting back on track and teaching a normal curriculum as quickly as possible.

Given their role in ensuring schools spend funding appropriately and in holding schools to account for educational performance, governors and trustees should scrutinise schools’ approaches to catch-up from September, 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. (DfE guidance — Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium — updated 24/08/2020)