Secondary schools in England will be asked to consider opening during the summer period for face-to-face teaching, as a way to help pupils catch up after disruption to learning during the pandemic.
Covid restrictions put in place last March have seen many pupils lose around half a year in face-to-face learning, according to the Government.
The Government has now announced an extra £420million in funding, alongside £300milllion for catch up projects which was announced in January.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said this funding for schools in England will help ensure "no child is left behind" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Mr Johnson said: “This extensive programme of catch-up funding will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils, and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”
Summer schools for Secondary schools
The recovery package includes summer provision which will be introduced for pupils who need it the most, such as incoming Year 7 pupils. One-to-one and small group tutoring schemes will also be expanded.
In order to deliver face-to-face summer schools, £200 million will be available to secondary schools.
The programme also includes a one-off £302 million “Recovery Premium” for primary and secondary schools to support disadvantaged pupils. This could include running additional clubs and activities in the summer, or implementing evidence-based approaches to help children from September.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the average primary school will receive around £6,000 in extra funding, and the average secondary school will get around £22,000 extra in recovery premium payments.
The £720m government funding package includes:
A one-off £302m "recovery premium" for state primary and secondary schools to boost summer schooling, clubs and activities£200m to fund face-to-face secondary summer schools, with teachers in charge of deciding which pupils benefitAn expanded national tutoring programme for primary and secondary pupils and an extended tuition fund for 16 to 19-year-olds - also worth £200m£18m funding to support early-years language development
The Department for Education also said that “a range of high-quality online resources will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays.
“These will be provided by Oak National Academy, to help give pupils the confidence they are ready for the next academic year.”
Mr Williamson said: “Our package of measures will deliver vital support to the children and young people who need it most, making sure everyone has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter their background.”
However, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said it is important to make sure students don’t get “overwhelmed”.
Mr Whiteman said: “Summers schools will be of value for some pupils but it will be important not to overwhelm students. Recovery cannot happen in a single summer.”