Covid-19 ‘Catch-up’ Premium

The Government have announced a £1 billion fund for education.  Government guidance released shows that the money is shared between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme.

The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil, from years R to 6.  The spending of this money is down to school to allocate as they see appropriate. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.


At Furzefield Primary School, we recognise that Covid-19 has brought with it a number of challenges – these are not solely academic.  Our aims are:

  • For each pupil’s attainment outcomes to be at least in line with those prior to Lockdown 2020, by the time they leave at the end of KS2.  For example, a child working at the age expected standard in March 2020 would return to at least this standard before leaving Furzefield.  This means a child in year 6 will need to have this process accelerated, whereas a child in a younger year has more time to ‘close the gap’.
  • For pupils to receive a range opportunities to redevelop their social and emotional well-being, to support them in reintegrating into the school and wider community.  We recognise that further mental health needs have arisen during the pandemic and that some of these will require support well beyond this period.

‘Catch-up’ for all pupils will include:

  • Working through well-sequenced, purposeful learning. Across our school’s curriculum, children will receive focused teaching based on their individual and collective needs.  Adaptations to the curriculum (in accordance with this) will be made.  Children will continue to receive a full quota of subjects, as we believe this helps develop more rounded individuals.
  • Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills, which enable successful learning, will require increased curriculum time across all year groups. These include: handwriting, spelling of high frequency words, basic sentence punctuation, times tables recall, basic addition & subtraction fact recall and reading skills relevant to age.
  • Particular focus on early reading and phonics. Our established focus and high standards of teaching reading will continue to be a priority to ensure every child’s reading ability and use of vocabulary develop.  Read Write Inc. will continue to underpin this, with further investment in resources to support.
  • Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly.  Furzefield has reviewed and updated its assessment procedures to further support this.
  • Time spent on mental health, well-being and social skills development. This will be at the core of all catch-up work as many children will have not been in formal school setting for a number of months.  PSHE will be at the forefront of our planning to meet needs.

‘Catch-up’ for some pupils will include:

  • Additional nurture support, either in class or with specialists – e.g. ELSA.  This may include specific sessions, including Draw & Talk, Feelings Programme, Social Stories and Ecology Crew.
  • In house year 6 1:1 tuition.  For identified pupils, this experience is designed to support pupils to return to their expected levels ahead of moving on to secondary school.  As time is limited for these pupils, these sessions are held after school, using our own members of staff – people with whom the children are already familiar.  The sessions are face-to-face and appropriate covid security measures are in place.
  • National Tuition Programme (NTP).  This intervention targets students in years 4 & 5, who have a little more time to ‘catch-up’.  These sessions are led by external tutors remotely, outside of the school day.  These sessions are able to run continuously, irrelevant of any lockdowns.
  • Bookmark Reading Programme.  Reading continues to be a key priority, as it underpins so many other essential skills.  This intervention supports pupils digitally and is being used to target children in years 1 to 4.
  • Read Write Inc. Fresh Start. This is aimed at specific children in KS2 . Via intervention sessions, it targets the development of accurate spelling and composition of their ideas for writing step-by-step.
  • Further ‘Catch-up’ plans.  At Furzefield, we continue to assess how our pupils are doing both emotionally and academically.  As a result, further support ideas will be considered, identifying what is best for individuals, as the roadmap continues to evolve.

Measuring impact:

Recognising the cost and benefit of different support methods is an essential part of deciding how to proceed in the future.  At Furzefield, we use a range of strategies to measuring impact.

  • Teachers use an in-house well-being tracking tool, to identify pupils’ well-being and involvement.  This is based on the Leuven Scales.  As we used this prior to the first lockdown, we are able to see which children need further support and help them ‘catch-up’ emotionally to where they were before.  This is a priority, as unhappy children often underperform academically.
  • Entry and exit assessments will be used, where specific targeted interventions are in place.  Please, note that during the autumn term, entry data was collected, though exit data was not due to January’s lockdown.
  • In addition, anecdotal evidence will also be collected, as we are dealing with human beings.  Teacher feedback in progress meetings is an essential part of what we do – e.g. ‘Their confidence has really grown and this is evident across all their work now.’

‘Catch-up’ at Furzefield IS NOT:

  • Rushing missed learning.
  • Pressuring children and families into rapid learning.
  • Teacher’s time spent highlighting missed objectives.
  • Teacher’s time spent ticking off assessment points and extra tracking.