Will your child get free tutoring to catch up on their school work?

The Government has announced £1bn fund to provide free extra tutoring to children in English schools – so will your child be eligible and when will it happen?

school child working at desk

Schools in England are to receive £650m plus a further £350m has been allocated for tutoring, to enable children to catch up on education they’ve missed during lockdown.

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Which children will be eligible?

Location – Firstly, this is just for English schools and does not include schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as these have different educational authorities.

Schools not nurseries or colleges – This fund is for state primary and secondary schools only and not available for nurseries and early years providers. It’s also not available for colleges for 16-19 year olds.

This fund is being directed towards the most disadvantaged pupils and children who schools believe most need it. There are two parts of the fund:

£350m fund

This fund will provide subsidised tutoring through a new programme starting in September 2020. According to The Guardian, this will enable schools to pay around £12 per hour for private tutoring rather than £50 per hour currently charged by many private companies.

Who will get this? This will focus on disadvantaged children – with a focus on those who currently qualify for pupil premium. According to a Government briefing paper The Pupil Premium from February 2020 there are currently 2.04 million children eligible for some form of Pupil Premium.

£650m fund

This fund is being allocated directly to schools who will be involved in the decisions on how this is spent within their own schools to help children catch up.

Who will get this? The fund will be directed to those children who are most in need – identified at school level. Final details are still to be agreed but school head teachers are hoping they will have control over how these funds are spent. It’s likely that it will be used to fund small tuition groups – providing a higher percentage of teaching staff per pupils or longer school days – across the next academic year.

How many pupils will this be shared with?

According to Dept of Education data from 2019, there are around 8.1 million pupils across over 20,000 English state primary and secondary schools. (This does not include independent schools who won’t receive the funding, nor special schools.)

If the £650m fund was shared equally across 8.1 million children, this would equate to around £81 per pupil.

If the £350m fund is to be directed to the 2.04 million children who qualify for pupil premium, this would equate to around £171.57 per pupil.

“This package will make sure that every young person, no matter their age or where they live, gets the education, opportunities and outcomes they deserve, by spending it on measures proven to be effective, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged,” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stated.

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