Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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.

This funding will be provided in 3 tranches with the first payment made in September 2020, the second payment in early 2021 and the final payment in the summer term of 2021. Full details of the allocations and conditions of grant can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium: provisional allocations.

Though funding has been calculated on a per pupil or per place basis, schools should use the sum available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for pupils according to their need.

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.

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.

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

At Ellel St. John’s, teachers undertook baseline assessments with their classes early in the autumn term to identify gaps and lost learning from the lockdown period. This assessment data was then scrutinised with the SLT and Learning Mentor along with approaches suggested in the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) coronavirus (COVID-19) support guide for schools in order to draw up a provision map of English and Maths catch-up groups in each cohort. These catch up groups are delivered by a qualified teacher each afternoon and each group lasts a maximum of 20 minutes to minimise the impact on other curriculum areas. Progress is continually monitored and discussed during termly Pupil Progress Meetings at which point catch up groups are altered to address current need.