Budget to meet ‘parent pledge’ next year, schools told

Schools told to consider how to 'factor in' the white paper policy when setting budgets

Schools told to consider how to 'factor in' the white paper policy when setting budgets

Schools have been told to factor in the government’s new “parent pledge” of support for children who fall behind when setting their budgets for next year.

The government pledged in its schools white paper that “any child that falls behind” in English and maths should receive “timely and evidence-based support to enable them to reach their full potential”.

Ministers also “pledged” to make sure leaders communicate this to parents, and said Ofsted would hold schools to account for meeting the measure.

Now the government has urged schools and academy trusts planning their budgets for next year to “consider how to factor in the parent pledge”.

The Department for Education acknowledged that “most schools and trusts” were already meeting the pledge, but said for some it would be a “shift in approach”.

A Teacher Tapp poll in March found that only around half of English and maths teachers said their schools informed parents about interventions to stop their children falling behind.

Heads ‘best placed’ to meet needs, but urged to use NTP

In an email today, the DfE said leaders were “best placed to understand the needs of their pupil cohorts and have the flexibility to prioritise their spending to support those needs”.

The email also encouraged schools to look at funding and support available “including funding through the pupil premium and the National Tutoring Programme”.

It comes after ministers outlined plans to name and shame schools that have not yet used tutoring, and to contact those that have not signed up to “discuss their plans”.

But the move has prompted warnings that schools shunning the flagship catch-up scheme, because it was too restrictive and costly, risk getting the blame for the failing programme.

Government data from March suggests two in five schools still haven’t used the scheme.

In its email to heads, the DfE said small group tutoring “can make a big difference to those that have fallen behind, but there are still too many children missing out”.

“You know how best to support the children who need it, and there is a very broad range of recommended evidence-based approaches to help you deliver the parent pledge.”

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