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Catch-Up Funding / Year 7 Catch-up Premium

Catch Up Funding

The Covid-19 has affected children, young people, families and schools in an unprecedented fashion.  Schools have been at the frontline of the response to the pandemic remaining open for children of key workers and the most vulnerable children alongside coordinating remote education for others.  Families and schools have seldom worked so closely together in the best interests of our children and young people.

However, this challenge is far from over and compensating for the interruption to education will be at the forefront of school planning for some time to come.   Undoubtedly a complex situation, schools will be aiming to confront issues around learning as well as well-being.  Moreover, the evidence suggests that the pandemic has served to highlight the impact on students from socio-economically disadvantaged groups who have struggled disproportionately to their peers.

For schools in Acorn Education Trust, we will be acting on available research to create a plan which will meet the needs of all our students moving forwards.   Rooted in a sustained response, our schools will identify objectives to ensure that each child is able to continue their journey through education with the support that they require along the way.  This is in line with our Trust vision of preparing young people for their world in their time.  Never has this been more important.

The government has assigned funding to schools to assist in the “catch-up” following the disruption caused by the pandemic.  The Education Endowment Foundation has provided research-led strategies on how best to support children and young people in their reports “Covid-19 Support Guide for Schools” and “The EEF guide to supporting school planning: a tiered approach to 2021”.  This guidance is underpinned in our strategy.

This document is a live, ongoing piece of work and will be continuously monitored and updated.  A review process within the Trust will ensure that the money assigned to this project is spent intelligently, fairly and to the benefit of our children and young people.  Each school’s plan will be written by the head and Exec. Head and then agreed by the Head of SEND for the Trust.  The allocation of funding and impact of the plan will be monitored and evaluated by the Standards and Improvement Committee of Directors.

Year 7 Catch-Up Premium 

Allocation will be used to pay for:

  • A Thrive approach whole school.
  • Additional Literacy tuition in the Learning Centre.
  • Additional Numeracy intervention through the Learning Centre.
  • Star Spell and Star Reader interventions (star reading only until March).
  • Teaching Assistants to help support low achieving students.

Since introducing our THRIVE Approach intervention 3 years ago, we have been able to target students which might have gaps in earlier development which are now causing issues with emotional regulation and their ability to learn. We have been able to support families with Thrive Actions Plans for home use as well as creating school strategies to help students learn to independently self soothe. Using Thrive strategies, students who were at risk of becoming school refusers have now completed their GCSEs and are now continuing their post-school studies.

We have also been able to support those in our enhanced education settings, with group Thrive Action Plans, to help them reintegrate in the mainstream learning environment.   

Our Learning Centre is able to offer literacy intervention primarily targeting Year 7 students, and then reaching out to all year groups.  The Learning Centre supports the development of spelling, reading and comprehension. We currently support 134 students weekly in targeted small group sessions through regular 1:1 reading, an online spelling programme and bespoke comprehension tasks with a qualified teacher. We review progress on a termly basis and students who have made progress then return to their lessons.

Our ELSA programme is able to offer emotional literacy support for students who struggle with social interaction and communication. Since introducing the programme, it has become so popular we have a second ELSA practitioner in training to offer more groups and 1:1 support. This provision provides essential support for students who need guidance on forming friendships, understanding social interaction, managing anxiety but also those with diagnosed needs such as autism. 

Our new numeracy intervention uses the online Doodle Maths programme to test students on a detailed baseline assessment to create bespoke sessions working on individual weaknesses with trained staff. Students love the online platform as they collect starts for effort and making progress with previous weaker areas. All students regularly attending the intervention have already improved their Doodle ages showing early indicators of progress with understanding numeracy skills so they can confidentially access the Maths curriculum. 


Previous funding has:

  • Improved reading and spelling ages for lower attaining groups.
  • Allowed for further integration for lower attainers in to the mainstream curriculum.
  • Encouraged reading amongst all attainers.
  • Improved mastery of spelling, vocabulary and grammar amongst students targeted.