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Making up for lost learning time

How can children make up for lost learning time?

£720 million package deal has been announced to get students in the UK to catch up on a year of learning missed. We've listed some of the measures which are being put in place to help students.

Summer Schools

The government has advised schools to consider offering face to face learning over the summer break. The government is to give £200m to secondary schools to fund summer classes for pupils who need it the most, especially children moving up to year 7.

Summer schools will help make up for academic loss over the last year with qualified teachers leading small groups. But there are worries of summer schools lacking staffing because of the burnout amongst teachers. 

However, evidence shows that disadvantaged children who would benefit most, are less likely to attend these summer schools. Two summer school trials run by the EEF saw less than 50% attendance among students in the target group. - BBC 

How much money is the government promising to give to the education sector?

  • England - £1.7 billion of funding has been made available for the catch-up programmes. 
  • Scotland - £127 million has been promised to help disadvantaged students.
  • Millions of pounds have also been put into catch-up schemes.

Tutoring Sessions

One to one tutoring is a proven and recommended method of helping children to catch up on learning and becomes particularly helpful during exam revision periods. Weekly sessions could help students make 3 - 6 months of progress, especially in literacy and mathematics. 

The government is promising money to expanded National Tutoring Programme (NTP) for primary and secondary pupils, along with an extended tuition fund for 16-19 year olds. Through NTP partners, schools will be able to access high quality tuition from an approved list of providers. 

More than 100,000 disadvantaged students have accessed the service since it began in November. 

Repeating the school year

Retaking the school year is quite a popular option in other countries, but in the UK, not so much. The Education Policy Institute (EPI) think tank has suggested it could help pupils whose education has fallen behind. - BBC

The EEF estimates it would cost £6,000 per student per year in England. Pupils that repeat a year make an average of four months less academic progress than those at a similar level who continue to the next school year. - BBC 

Extending school days & mental health support

After school days are a good way of extending learning, after school clubs' costs around £7 a session the EEF estimates. This is a costly way of catching up with learning and may not be the best option after children have spent a whole day at school, that extra time after school may not be valuable depending on the pupil.

Extra funding has been requested for mental health support for school children, this is to help ease their return to the classroom and improve their chances of catching up. - BBC

Teaching staff that have been trained to improve emotional wellbeing which can help students to progress well academically. The EPI has proposed £650 million of extra funding for additional school staff and in-school counselling programmes in England. - BBC 

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