Summer schools

The majority of Covid restrictions have been removed in English schools. Rules have also been eased elsewhere in the UK, but some measures are being retained for the moment.

Staff and students without symptoms in England are no longer asked to test for Covid twice-weekly. Secondary school pupils also don’t need to wear masks. The legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive test is also being removed, although it is still recommended.

The information in the support article below was current at the time it was published. You may still find it useful for reference purposes.


As a teacher, you might be interested in how to be involved in summer schools and if you would be paid for doing so.

The Department for Education (DfE) explains that summer schools are optional for staff and school leaders are best placed to determine the staffing that best suits their needs.

In this article, we provide a summary of the guidance from the DfE on summer schools, how staffing will work and resources to support academic activities.

Why are summer schools needed?

The DfE explains that the aim of the programme is to deliver a short summer school offering a blend of academic education and enrichment activities.

It notes that summer school provision with an academic focus has the potential to support attending pupils to make up for some of their missed education.

The Education Endowment Foundation finds that, on average, pupils attending a summer school can make up to 2 months’ additional progress (compared with pupils who do not attend), and up to 4 months if the summer school offers small group tuition led by highly-trained and experienced teaching staff.

Summer school also offers an important opportunity to support pupils’ wellbeing. Schools should include enrichment activities, such as team games, music, drama or sports activities.

Schools are free to run a one- or two-week summer school and may choose to involve different pupils over that time, according to their needs. This could mean that more pupils benefit from a shorter summer school.

Summer schools: which pupils is it for?

It is for schools to determine which pupils would most benefit from a summer school. The DfE expects, however, that most will want to focus this provision primarily on pupils making the transition into year 7. This transition is known to be a challenging one for some pupils, and the impacts of the pandemic have increased this challenge

How will staffing work?

Summer schools are optional for staff to attend.

Schools may wish to ask some of their support staff to lead groups or cover lessons in summer school.

The DfE explains that staff can be recruited from a combination of participating and non-participating schools as well as non-school staff, such as HE lecturers, youth workers and staff from local businesses, to form an effective team with a broad range of skills and expertise.

For those pupils transitioning to Year 7, including members of staff from the Year 7 team is a good way to provide continuity for pupils ahead of the start of term. (The funding can be used to pay teachers and other staff for taking part in the summer school)

Will I be paid for delivering our summer school?

The DfE explains that no teacher in a maintained school is required to work at weekends or out of normal school dates unless their contract provides for this. Any teacher working in a summer school should therefore be doing so voluntarily.

The Additional Allowance paragraph 26.1c in the STPCD provides flexibility for teachers to be paid for out of school hours learning activity and would be appropriate for remuneration for summer school work.

Payment for teachers who agree to participate in the summer schools should be made at a daily or hourly rate calculated by reference to the teacher’s actual salary on their respective pay range. With the exception of headteachers, all teachers who volunteer to work in summer schools would be eligible for payment under the Additional Allowance paragraphs.

Academies are not bound by the national terms and conditions and so have the freedom and flexibility to remunerate their teachers for any additional work that they do.

Support for academic activities


Teaching mathematics in primary schools sets out what pupils need to know in maths when they start secondary school, in order to progress in the curriculum. A range of supporting materials from video lessons through to PowerPoints is also available from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. 


Local libraries may offer ‘borrow bags’ made up of librarian-chosen books, activity ideas and other resources. Find your local library to explore what is available and to join up. 

The DfE-funded Poetry by Heart initiative helps to develop and support inspiring poetry teaching in schools and to motivate pupils to explore our rich literary heritage. The curated collection of poems and learning resources is categorised by key stage. 

Schools may also wish to encourage pupils to take up the summer reading challenge, which this year has an environmental theme. 

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed. The trust’s secondary programmes help students develop their literacy skills to succeed at school and in their future lives.


The Institute of Physics provides free, bespoke support for teachers of physics. Resources include Marvin and Milo enrichment activities for pupils aged 5-11 and 11-14.

Modern foreign languages 

The National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy (NCELP) provides support including professional development tools and teaching resources which can be sorted by language, pedagogical focus and age range.


TeachComputing offers a toolkit for teachers and resources by key stage.


Schools may want to consider using video and interactive lessons from Oak National Academy. Oak is developing free, high-quality resources that will be available online throughout the summer holidays. In addition to Oak’s existing range of video lessons, the resources will include a holiday work plan, a menu of priority 21 lessons and assessments, and a package of detailed guidance to help teachers, parents and pupils make the best use of the resources. Schools may also want to make use of Oak’s Virtual School Library

Primary and secondary resources are available from BBC Bitesize for teachers and pupils. 

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides high quality external tuition by approved tuition partners to support schools. Tuition takes place both face-to-face and online and will continue into the summer period to make up any tuition that has been missed, during lockdown.

Although summer schools are targeted at pupils in the transition year 6 to year 7, schools may wish to take advantage of their premises being open over the holidays for summer schools as an opportunity for NTP pupils to come into school. 

This would enable pupils signed up to the National Tutoring Programme to complete their face-to-face or online tuition programme.

Further advice and support

If you are an Edapt subscriber and you are concerned about delivering summer school provision, or have questions about pay during summer school, you can contact us for further support and advice.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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