£10m maths and English catch-up scheme announced

Around a third of Department for Education funding linked to Covid will be from underspends or existing budgets, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The Department for Education has announced a £10 million maths and English catch-up scheme.

The department says specialist training and materials will be provided to support “focused sessions” to boost numeracy and literacy.

Schools with high proportions of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will be prioritised from the Autumn term.

The £10 million is part of a £22 million pot to “scale up” evidence-based interventions identified. The £22 million is part of the £302 million recovery premium cash. It is not yet known what the remaining £12 million will be allocated to.

For maths, schools will receive fully funded training to deliver the sessions. They will be targeted at Reception, year 1, year 2 and year 7 pupils because these year groups could have “significant difficulties” catching up if they fall behind, DfE said.

These programmes are based on the DfE’s  “Teaching for Mastery” programme. Training will be provided by the National Centre for Excellent in the Teaching of Maths (NCETM) alongside local maths hubs.

For English, eligible primary schools will receive up to £6,000 each for “validated phonics programmes”, as well as training and support days for teachers.

The funding will be “focused on systematic synthetic phonics”. English hubs across the country will allocate funding to eligible primary schools in selected Local Authority Districts and support them to buy training and recourses from programmes on DfE’s validated list.

It comes as MPs have demanded ministers provide answers regarding the £3.1 billion in catch-up funding after the government’s own sums appeared not to add up.

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