COVID-19 Catch-up Premium

How much Catch-up Premium do schools get?

In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has now been released, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium, which shows that the money is split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme.

• The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. 

• The figure is based on the previous year’s census and will not include Nursery numbers.  

• Hillcross will be in receipt of £36,400. 

• This funding will be provided in 3 tranches with an initial part payment being made in autumn 2020, a second payment beginning 2021 and a final payment in the summer term of 2021.

What will the premium be spent on?

The spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see best. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.

Although funding has been calculated on a per pupil basis, schools should use the sum available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for pupils according to their need. 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 guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year. (See also EEF - School Planning Guide 2020-21 ) Schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances.

Who will monitor the spending of the Catch-up Premium?
As with all government funding, school leaders must be able to account for how this money is being used to achieve the government’s central goal of schools getting back on track and teaching a normal curriculum as quickly as possible. 

Given their role in ensuring schools spend funding appropriately and in holding schools to account for educational performance, governors should scrutinise schools’ approaches to catch-up from September, 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. (DfE guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium - updated 24/08/2020)

How often will schools receive this fund?
As the catch-up premium has been designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the grant will only be available for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. It will not be added to schools’ baselines in calculating future years’ funding allocations. 

Context of the school and rationale for the strategy (with specific reference to the impact of COVID-19)

  • Our proportion of children on free school meals (11.6%) across the school is relatively low compared to a national picture (17.3%).
  • The vast majority of children from Reception to Year 6 engaged with the detailed online learning that the school provided (Over 80% of children).  
  • There were 47 children (10.6%) across the entire school who did not engage at all with the learning provided by the school, despite efforts by staff and support from the school with regard devices, technical glitches and advice on scheduling learning time.
  • Prior to returning to school, every child whose year group had not returned, were given the opportunity to return to school for one day so they could have a session with their current teacher and a session with their teacher for September.
  • As part of our hand-over meetings, the criteria for these meetings was adapted to include list of children who had engaged fully, partially and not at all with the remote learning offer.
  • Upon re-opening on September 2nd 2020, we had an excellent response to children coming back to school. Attendance was stable across all year groups upon return, with only a 1.1% drop in attendance compared to this time last year.
  • At the beginning of the school year a parental questionnaire was sent home to families in order to inform the school of its successes and areas for improvements with regard remote learning.
  • Following detailed analysis of the questionnaire, the school has produced a remote learning strategy policy and a quick reference guide to remote learning for parents.  These documents formalise the school’s remote learning offer for a number of scenarios: in the event of whole school closure, partial school closure (class bubbles etc) and for individuals having to self-isolate as part of the NHS Track and Trace.
  • 75% of families who responded to the questionnaire said that the home schooling provision gave their child/ren the opportunity to make progress during school closure.
  • When asked about mental health and well-being of the children, 78% of families said that the school provided families with access to a variety of information on supporting the mental health and well-being of their child/ren during the partial school closure.
  • As a staff we discussed the necessity of ensuring consistency for the children’s learning and so the curriculum taught is the same as that which they would have been learning had it not been for COVID-19.
  • Rather than setting up interventions and catch up groups in September without any data to support class teachers in identifying which children to target, these were delayed until the school had established baselines for the children in reading, writing and maths. 
  • These assessments took place in the first half of the Autumn Term and progress meetings with the headteacher and deputy headteacher attending these.  
  • During these meetings, end of year targets were set for each child and also children identified for catch-up (the criteria being no progress from spring term, high prior attaining children (ARE or above ARE) who no longer were, disadvantaged children who had stalled progress and were recorded and no fully engaged with remote learning. 
  • Given the quality of our remote learning provision and the uptake of this learning, we were not surprised that the baseline data showed a generally positive picture across the school compared to where the children were in Spring.  100% of non-SEND pupil premium children, who engaged with the remote learning, made progress from spring.  As a school, the SLT identified key areas to target and this is reflected below in our allocation of support for catch-up.   

Spending:
       At Hillcross, our catch-up premium will be used to:

  • £1000: purchase mental, health and well-being resources/workshops throughout the academic year in response to where the needs occur of children impacted by COVID-19.
  •  £500: purchase curriculum resources and assessment materials that support children who have to self-isolate and for whom access to remote learning in not possible. These include CGP books for reading, grammar and maths.
  • £4000:  to cover for the implementation and training of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (a DFE reception year early language programme).  Children are targeted for this intervention by an initial app-based assessment of pupils’ oral language, called Language Screen.
  • £30,900: to pay for two additional members of staff (a full time Nursery Nurse and Teaching Assistant). These members of staff will support our most vulnerable year groups so that they can support the teacher with targeted focus work with individual children.   The aim of these groups/1:1 support is to accelerate the progress of these children in order to mitigate against the impact that the partial school closure had on their attainment and general well-being (as identified in the October baseline assessments the school carried out.)

Aims
The broad aims for “catch up” at Hillcross:

  • Attainment outcomes at end of 2020-21 for all year groups will be at least in line with those at the point of lockdown in spring. This means that if a child was working at an age-related expectation in a subject in March they are working at least to an age-related expectation in that same subject by the end of the year.
  • By the end of the 2021-22 year, attainment outcomes for all year groups will be at least in line with those at the end of the 2019-20 year.
  • The mental health needs of pupils that have arisen as a result of the pandemic are met and supported by the school.

Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936

info@hillcross.merton.sch.uk