Covid catch-up premium: what is it?

Overview

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced £1 billion of funding (the Covid catch-up premium) to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure.

This is especially important for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds. This funding 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
  • A £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help, which includes:

Covid catch-up premium: which settings are eligible?

The followings settings are eligible:

  • Primary, secondary and all through local authority-maintained schools, academies and free schools
  • Local authority-maintained special schools
  • Special academies and free schools
  • Special schools not maintained by a local authority
  • Pupil referral units
  • Alternative provision (AP) academies and free schools
  • Local authority-maintained hospital schools and academies
  • Independent special schools

The DfE will provide funding to local authorities for pupils with education, health and care (EHC) plans who are educated in independent special schools based on the number of such pupils in their area.

Funding allocations

School allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis.

Mainstream school will get £80 for each pupil from reception to year 11 inclusive.

Special, AP and hospital schools will get £240 for each place for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

The DfE have applied additional weighting to specialist settings, recognising the significantly higher per pupil costs they face. A typical primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a typical secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000.

Covid catch up premium: payment schedule

Schools will get funding in 3 tranches.

  1. Autumn 2020 – this is based on the latest available data on pupils in mainstream schools and high needs place numbers in special, AP, hospital schools and special schools not maintained by a local authority.
  2. Early 2021 – based on updated pupil and place data. This payment will also take account of the initial part payment made in autumn 2020 so that schools will receive a total of £46.67 per pupil or £140 per place across the first 2 payment rounds.
  3. Summer 2021 term – a further £33.33 per pupil or £100 per place.

Using covid catch-up funding

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 curriculum expectations for the next academic year in actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak.

While schools can use their funding in a way that suits their cohort and circumstances, they are expected to use this funding for specific activities which will help pupils catch up on missed education.

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.

To support schools to implement their catch-up plans effectively, EEF has published the school planning guide: 2020 to 2021. This will provide further guidance on how schools should implement catch-up strategies and supporting case studies to highlight effective practice.

Accountability: school leaders and governors

School leaders must be able to show they are using the funding to resume teaching a normal curriculum as quickly as possible following partial or full school closure.

Governors and trustees should scrutinise schools’ approaches to catch-up from September 2020, 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.

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