Our overview of the Universal Catch-up Premium

    Published: 08 October 2020

    As members of the business management services team here at HfL Jackie and I have been considering the catch-up premium especially in the wake of our autumn SBM BRIEFING session where it was the hot topic with the over 150 attendees from heads to business managers. We thought it would be helpful to review how this funding could be spent and what you need to consider.

    The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance which references evidenced-based approaches, and guidance on how to implement catch-up plans effectively.

    The EEF Covid-19 support guide for schools

    The EEF guide to supporting school planning

    Here is a quick summary of what you need to know:

    • Mainstream schools will receive £80 per pupil R to Yr11 
    • Special, AP and hospital schools will receive £240 for each place recorded on their LA’s Section 251 budget return statement for 2019 to 2020
    • Funding will be received in three tranches, in the autumn, spring and summer terms, based on the latest pupil number data available
    • The first payment will be 25% of an initial academic year allocation and will be based on October 2019 census
    • Whilst there is no requirement to publish how your school has spent this funding an Ofsted visit will include a conversation on how it was spent and the impact it has had
    • Funding will be automatic so there is no need to apply for it
    • Funding can be carried forward to future financial years
    • It has been left to senior leaders to decide on how best to spend this funding

    Some of the options you could consider based on what best suits your own school’s circumstances include:

    • Developing approaches to assessment that support teachers in identifying any gaps in students’ learning
    • Small group or one-to-one tuition.  From the NTP programme (subsidised) or of your choosing (but this would not be subsidised) 
    • Intervention programmes, focusing on specific aspects of learning, such as numeracy, literacy, behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs
    • Extending school time (with parents’ and staff buy in)

    There are wider strategies that may be better for your school:

    • supporting parents and carers, particularly around attendance
    • access to technology (access to online tuition, providing devices, improving in-school facilities)
    • CPD to support teaching quality, curriculum planning or the effective use of technology
    • Effective TA support which supplements but does not replace teachers
    • Supporting pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs as appropriate for your setting
    • Retrospectively you could allocate funding to summer programmes that were held to re-engage students

    Before you rush into any of these we recommend you take some time to reflect and ask yourself or discuss with your teams

    • How will we identify need?
    • How will we measure impact?
    • Do we have the capacity to deliver? 
    • How does this fit with the current school development plan? Can we use the funding to enhance an already identified objective?
    • How can we secure longer term benefits as well as short term from the funding?
    • Have we included in our planning local lockdown, burst bubbles?
    • Can we still deliver this with remote learning?

    Whatever solution or mixture of solutions you decide on, remember if Ofsted visit they will look at how effectively you have spent/are spending your allocation. 

    In addition and to support how you choose to allocate the funding we’d like to also highlight two funded/part funded programmes which could complement or enhance your plans.

    There is the £350 million National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which will provide additional targeted support for those children and young people who need it most. The details for this are still being fleshed out, with the roll-out planned for the second half of the autumn term, but it will provide subsidised support (up to 75% of the cost). The NTP will have three strands, for 5-16 year olds, sixth formers, and a reception year early language programme.

    The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) will provide training and resources at no cost for additional targeted support for oral language for pupils in Reception classes. Participating schools will receive resources and will be able to access online training from the start of the spring term 2021. Places are limited, so in the event of oversubscription, schools with higher FSM levels will be prioritised. Schools must register their interest by 30 October 2020.  Further details on the impact this programme can have can be found on the Education Endowment Foundation website. You can register your interest for the NELI.

    Our second SBM autumn briefing session will take place on 20th October 2020 which you might like to join and be a part of the ongoing discussion on funding amongst other time critical, of the moment education management questions. 

    For advice on this or anything else related to business management, get in touch. Call us on 01438 843299 or email businessmanagement@hertsforlearning.co.uk.

    Blog authored by members of the Business Management Services team:

    Liz Allpress (Business Management Consultant)

    Jackie Keegan (Business Management Consultant)


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