UK: £10 million scheme to help pupils boost core skills
Programmes targeted at pupils starting primary and secondary school, who will take part in focused English and maths catch-up sessions
Pupils in participating schools are set to benefit from more support in maths and English, as part of a £10 million scheme announced today (Friday 09 July).
Specialist training and materials will be provided to support focused sessions to boost numeracy and literacy skills and help pupils catch-up in these core subjects.
Schools with high proportions of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will be prioritised for the schemes in order to support those most impacted by the disruption to education.
The department has launched an information site for parents, to support children of all age ranges and abilities and catch up on lost learning from the pandemic. The site features advice and support for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as programmes for the summer.
The scheme will begin in the Autumn term and is part of the Government’s long-term ambitious plans, backed by over £3bn to date, helping to build back better from the pandemic.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
Maths and English are the foundations for every child’s education. Being sure we are using the most effective teaching methods – phonics for reading and the maths mastery approach for teaching maths – is key to ensuring every child has the best start to their time at primary school and the best introduction to the challenges of secondary education.
This programme is designed to support schools in using evidenced-based methods proven to give children the best start to their education.
The scheme reflects year groups where pupils can have significant difficulties catching up on maths and English if they fall behind. For maths, participating schools will receive fully funded training to deliver focused sessions. The sessions (covering Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 7) will help children to have a strong grasp of numbers by the end of Key Stage 1, while the Year 7 programme will focus on supporting a secure start to secondary school maths. For English, eligible primary schools will receive up to £6,000 each for validated phonics programmes, along with additional training and support days for teachers to support the delivery of these programmes.
The Maths programmes are based on the department’s successful “Teaching for Mastery” programme and curriculum guidance. The training and resources will be provided to participating schools by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching Maths (NCETM), in partnership with local Maths Hubs across the country.
The funding for English will be focused on systematic synthetic phonics, a highly effective method for teaching early reading and an important component in the development of early reading skills, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A number of English Hubs working across the country will allocate funding to eligible primary schools in selected Local Authority Districts and support them to purchase training and resources for one of the phonics programmes on the DfE’s validated list, all of which have been quality assured by an expert panel.
The offer will be rolled out from Autumn term 2021. Schools can find out more about how to participate in the Maths programmes by contacting their local Maths Hub or visiting the NCETM website for maths.
Schools that would like to find out more about the funding for English should contact one of the following English Hubs:
North: Jerry Clay English Hub
Midlands: Learners First English Hub
South: New Wave English Hub