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Colchester Academy

Coronavirus Catch-up Premium

The DfE announced funding for catch up plans in July 2020, based on the following rationale:

“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.”

Funding Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in Year 7 through to 11. Payments to schools will be made in three tranches. Schools have been advised to use the funding for specific activities to support pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations, and to direct funding as they see fit to their cohorts and circumstances. The funding is available for the academic year 2020-21 only.

To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a coronavirus (COVID-19) support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students. We have used this document to help us direct the additional funding in the most effective way. We are planning:

  • Intervention programmes
  • One to one and small group tuition
  • Extended school time
  • Increasing access to technology in and out of school.

Intervention programmes

In order to support pupils who have fallen behind furthest, we will use structured interventions, which may be delivered one to one or in small groups. A particular focus for interventions is likely to be on literacy and numeracy. The EEF shows evidence that there is significant long-term negative impact of beginning secondary school without secure literacy skills. We will aim some of our intervention specifically at improving reading ages, using regular sessions maintained over a sustained period and carefully timetabled to enable consistent delivery. In addition, we will deliver Interventions that focus on other aspects of learning, such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs alongside particular groups of pupils with identified special educational needs. We have set up effective assessment systems for reading that can be used to ensure that support is well-targeted and to monitor pupil progress.

One to one and small group tuition

There is extensive evidence supporting the impact of high quality one to one and small group tuition as a catch-up strategy. Where we use external tutors we will create a three-way relationship between tutor, teacher and pupils, ensuring tuition is guided by the school, linked to the curriculum and focused on the areas where pupils would most benefit from additional practice or feedback. We will keep these groups as small as possible. We will use the National Tutoring Programme to deliver some interventions.

Extended school time

We will extend the school day for Year 10 and 11 students to support intervention strategies and offer Homework Club in Year 7, 8 & 9. There is some evidence that extending school time can have a small positive impact on learning as well as improving other outcomes, such as attendance and behaviour.

Access to technology

The EEF has identified that “Pupils’ access to technology has been an important factor affecting the extent to which they can learn effectively at home. In particular, lack of access to technology has been a barrier for many disadvantaged children. As all pupils return to schools, technology could also be valuable; for example, by facilitating access to online tuition or support. Some schools might find it helpful to invest in additional technology, either by providing pupils with devices or improving the facilities available in school. To support learning, how technology is used matters most. Ensuring the elements of effective teaching are present—for example, clear explanations, scaffolding, practice and feedback— is more important than which form of technology is used. In addition, providing support and guidance on how to use technology effectively is essential, particularly if new forms of technology are being introduced. Additional information about supporting effective remote learning, including using technology, has been published in the EEF's 'Best evidence on supporting students to learn remotely'.”

Our strategies include:

  • The National Tutoring Programme for all years
  • Learning Mentors and extended school day for Year 10 and 11
  • Teach First Academic Mentors for all years in English and Humanities
  • Library/reading Lessons in Year 7 & 8
  • Introducing Accelerated Reader, English Mastery and the Lit programme with associated tracking and IT systems
  • Enhanced provision of IT equipment to support KS4 coursework classes and the Accelerated Reader programme
  • Enhanced provision of specialist equipment to accelerate progress in some subjects (e.g. Photography)
£80 per eligible student Total £64,560
Intervention Programmes in school, including small group tuition and one to one £21,600
Intervention Programmes after and out of school, small group tuition and one to one £17,900
Access to Technology £25,000