The DfE has allocated £650 million to be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to enable them to do so. Whilst headteachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools. For pupils with complex needs, schools should spend this funding on catch-up support to address their individual needs. There is also an allocation of £350 million for a National Tutoring Programme, intended to deliver proven and successful tuition to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
The DfE has also set out the following Curriculum Expectations, to ensure that all pupils – particularly disadvantaged, SEND and vulnerable pupils – are given the catch-up support needed to make substantial progress by the end of the academic year.
Education is not optional
All pupils receive a high-quality education that promotes their development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The curriculum remains broad and ambitious
All pupils continue to be taught a wide range of subjects, maintaining their choices for further study and employment.
DfE asks that schools meet the following key expectations:
- Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term, but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content…In particular, schools may consider how all subjects can contribute to the filling of gaps in core knowledge, for example through an emphasis on reading.
- Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.
- Plan on the basis of the educational needs of pupils. Curriculum planning should be informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills.
- Develop remote education so that it is integrated into school curriculum planning.
Specific points for key stages 4 and 5
The majority of pupils in year 10 and 11 are expected to continue to study their examination subjects…In exceptional circumstances, it may be in the best interests of a year 11 pupil to discontinue an examined subject…School leaders are expected to make such decisions in discussion with pupils and parents and informed by ongoing assessment of a pupil’s progress and wellbeing, using the existing discretion that schools already apply on these matters.
Pupils in years 12 and 13 are more likely to undertake self-directed study, but may still need additional support. Discontinuing a subject is therefore likely to significantly limit choices for further study and employment, so is expected to be rare.
Schools should set out how they will allocate the additional funding to support curriculum recovery this academic year. The EEF guidance suggests a 3-tiered* approach:
- High-quality teaching for all
- Effective diagnostic assessment
- Supporting remote learning
- Focusing on professional development
2 Targeted academic support
- High-quality one to one and small group tuition
- Teaching Assistants and targeted support
- Academic tutoring
- Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
3 Wider strategies
- Supporting pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs
- Planning carefully for adopting a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum
- Communicating with and supporting parents
- Supporting parents with pupils of different ages
- Successful implementation in challenging times