summer schools

Government to fund summer schools as part of £700m COVID catch-up plan

The school day could also be extended

The government has revealed it will fund summer schools to help pupils catch up after months of home schooling.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the government was looking at a “broad range of different options” that would help get kids’ education back on track.

He also hinted that the school day could be extended under plans set to cost a whopping £700 million.

boris in a face mask
Boris Johnson has pledged £700m to help children catch up (Credit: Splash News)

What has the government said about summer schools?

Under plans announced today (February 24), secondary schools will be able to offer face-to-face lessons in the six-week holiday.

Read more: Timeline of how England’s rules will relax month by month

Ministers are also keen to include children leaving primary school and going into year 7 lessons.

The summer schools will be funded with £200m from the package.

It will see every primary school given £6k and every secondary school given £22k. This will fund further support for those who need it the most.

However, it will be up to headteachers to decide how to use the funds – and they could use it to offer extra tuition in the school holidays.

Gavin Williamson on sky
Gavin Williamson hinted at extending the school day (Credit: Sky News)

Will the summer holidays be shorter?

It’s been widely speculated that Boris Johnson is considering giving the go-ahead to a permanent two-week trimming of the six-week summer holiday.

Extending the school day is also being considered, it has been claimed.

Read more: Calls for key workers to be prioritised amid news over-40s will get jab by end of March

Williamson was quizzed about extending school hours on Sky News earlier today.

Our next priority will be ensuring no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.

And he appeared to hint that the government hasn’t ruled it out.

“We’ll be looking at how we can boost and support children in a whole range of different manners.

“But it’s not just about time in school, it’s about supporting teachers in terms of the quality of teaching and how we can help them.”

child struggling with school work
The money will be used to help pupils who have fallen behind (Credit: Pexels)

So what will happen to GCSEs and A-Levels this year?

GCSEs and A-Levels have been cancelled this year as a result of the pandemic.

As such, the government is set to outline a replacement scheme for GCSes and A-Levels tomorrow (February 25).

What has Boris Johnson said about summer schools?

The PM revealed: “When schools reopen and face-to-face education resumes on March 8, our next priority will be ensuring no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.

‘This extensive programme of catch-up funding will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”

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