Our Use of Coronavirus '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 Worstead, '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 a qualified teacher to act as ‘Catch Up Teacher’ during Autumn 2020, working in conjunction with our classroom staff to deliver targeted interventions for one to two days per week, prioritising our need for early reading and writing support in KS1, but not limited to only this focus. The use of a Catch Up Teacher was reviewed in December 2020 just prior to the spring term closure of schools to most children. Following the reopening of schools for this summer term, the effectiveness of further Catch Up provision is under review again.
2. A maths-specific 1:1 tutoring programme, delivered remotely via our school laptops which have been modified for this purpose. This was aimed at KS2 pupils whose maths skills needed to be rapidly improved on an individual basis. This is expected to carry on through the year and will be reviewed at the end of each term. Some of this planned provision was able to continue to be accessed by pupils during remote learning periods.
How the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of pupils will be assessed
Individual children’s progress will be monitored by our SENDCO at half termly intervals, in Pupil Progress meetings at which all classroom staff are present. Weekly informal feedback will be given by the Catch Up Teacher to SENDCO/teachers. Their rates of progress will be compared to their peers in class and also against their previous progress and attainment data pre-pandemic. This is to check 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 at termly intervals. Once the actual funding has been both fully received and spent as planned, a more detailed report will be published.