Coronavirus (COVID-19) universal catch-up premium
In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has now been released (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium) showing that the money is split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme.
The catch-up premium 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. This will be paid in 3 instalments - in autumn 2020, 'early 2021' and summer 2021. The school will receive a total of £46.67 per pupil split across payments 1 and 2 and £33.33 per pupil for payment 3.
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 have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances. 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)
“Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have been more affected particularly severely by closures and may need more support to return to school and settle back into school life. Whilst all pupils will benefit from the EEF recommendations, it is likely that some forms of support will be particularly beneficial to disadvantaged.”
(Covid-19 Support Guide for Schools – June 2020)