The loss of face-to-face learning for pupils has had a huge impact on their education and well-being. The government has allocated £1.3bn of funding for catch-up programmes in England as well as funds to aid wellbeing initiatives; the EPI has proposed £650m of extra funding for additional school staff and in-school counselling programmes in England. Plans to help children catch up on lost school time are to be outlined imminently, but here are some measures which could be used to help pupils, all of which we have been recruiting for over several months to helps schools be ready and give pupils the best possible experience on their return.
- Summer schools
Extended learning via Summer schools with qualified teachers leading small groups can help children make up to four months of academic progress, according to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). Although there is some concern staff may suffer from burnout, it is a good opportunity for pupils to not just receive academic learning but can have the benefit of outdoor sporting activities for physical and mental well-being.
Make sure you register today with us if you want to be a part of the summer catch up; we are recruiting now for summer cover.
- Weekly tutoring sessions
One-to-one or tuition in small groups has been seen as a proven method of helping children make substantial progress, making bigger leaps in shorter periods of time compared to teaching full classes. Literacy and numeracy among primary-school pupils, are said to have the most significant impact for pupils. Our partnership with FFT and Success for All means we have been recruiting for Tutoring with the Lightning Squad, a literacy programme for primary school children which is the only evidenced based programme on the government’s approved list. We offer free training from experts on a paid basis. In addition, we have been recruiting for a whole range of tutoring roles, all on a flexible basis; sign up today if you are interested. Since the government has allocated £350m of funding for the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) in England, with more funds to be made available during the next financial year, lots of tutoring roles will be available for the coming months so it’s not too late to register.
Experts say that disadvantaged pupils could benefit from longer school days with extra tuition being provided from additional support. However, given concerns regarding the impact of pressure to catch-up on pupil’s well-being, it may be this option is less favourable. Similarly, the idea of repeating school years could only be possible for a small number of pupils. It has also been mooted that additional training in wellbeing for teachers could help pupils receive additional support as well as help with their overall catch-up of learning.
Whichever options are planned by the government, psychologists have warned that wellbeing must not be lost sight of and feel that it is more important than their education. Dr Dan O’Hare, Educational and child psychology, warned against setting expectations too high.
“The notion that children need to catch up or are ‘behind’ at school due to the pandemic reinforces the idea that children have ‘one shot’ at their education and puts them under even more pressure to perform academically after what has been a challenging and unprecedented time for everyone. Formal lessons must of course continue, but we shouldn’t simply expect children and young people to pick up where they’ve left off and ‘catch up’ immediately on any gaps in their learning. This places huge and unnecessary pressure on children who have been through an extraordinary and potentially stressful time.”
Register today if you are interested in helping to provide a better experience for pupils on the full re-opening of schools in March. Opportunities are likely to remain open for some time as we support schools and their staff to provide high quality teaching, both this year and the next.