Our Use of Corona Virus ‘Catch-Up Premium’
For the academic year 20/21 the government announced that they would give grants to schools of Catch-Up Premium, calculated on the size of the school. This was because it was expected that some children would have been more disadvantaged educationally by pandemic school closure than others. Catch Up Premium is planned to be paid in two instalments – 7/12 before 1st April 2021, and 5/12 after – and is intended to support the additional cost in ‘catching up’ these children. A link to the government’s Catch Up information is here:
During the summer term 2020 (partial school closure), teachers were delivering online learning to children and checking in regularly with them to assess their engagement with the learning on offer. From this period we identified children who we felt might struggle more than others upon return to school. When we reopened fully in September, early assessments of all children were made by teachers, to target those who had been more disadvantaged than others. Catch Up Premium spending is overseen by the school leaders and is separate from SEND funding.
How it is intended that the grant will be spent
It was decided that at Reedham Primary and Nursery School, ‘Catch Up’ should be just that – a way of delivering a relatively short, sharp improvement in learning, to get children back up to speed, with little delay. For this reason, we rapidly committed our expected Catch Up Premium to two significant measures:
1. The provision of an additional adult in Heron’s class, who we felt had been most disadvantaged during the school closures. This happened to be the equivalent of a qualified teacher whose role in supporting the children in class enabled the usual class teacher to focus on specific children and the work they needed to try to help them ‘catch-up.’
2. A short programme of 1:1 tutoring, delivered by our KS2 teacher, whilst her class was being covered by the catch-up money. Children from all over school were identified for specific input and then given 1:1 or small group sessions to plug gaps in their learning, develop skills, confidence and supporting with anxieties.
A further need to continue with this approach into the next academic year (2022/2023) has been identified. This will roll into the National Tutoring programme of support offered to children but will have a dedicated new member of staff to run the comprehensive intervention programme of work supporting children across all key stages.
How the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of pupils will be assessed
Individual children’s progress have been monitored by our SENDCO at half termly intervals, in Pupil Progress meetings at which all classroom staff are present. Additional informal feedback has been given by the teachers involved in delivering the Catch Up sessions and shared across the staff. The rates of progress have been compared to their peers in class and also against their previous progress and attainment data pre-pandemic. This has enabled us to see where future opportunities for further intervention exist and as mentioned above, in the need to commit additional resources to ensure that no child is left behind.
We are currently formulating plans to employ an additional member of staff to deliver extra input up to three days a week. This will then be monitored in the same way as before, checking whether Catch Up interventions are making a positive difference and whether they therefore need to continue, end or be altered.
In the case of children who are deemed to be back on track, the limited resource of Catch Up Premium-funded teacher intervention or 1:1 tutoring will be reallocated to the next identified children on our priority list until funding is completely allocated and spent.
The general effectiveness of our two approaches to using Catch Up Premium will be reviewed once the actual funding has been both fully received and spent as planned, at which point a more detailed report will be published.