Universal COVID catch up premium in the Red Kite Learning Trust
“The circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic are unique. However, in common with the Pupil Premium, the way funding is used will determine what difference it makes. An evidence-informed approach gives us the best chance of maximising impact.”
Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive EEF
Everyone in our Trust recognises the impact on young people of their absence from school due to the pandemic. We are determined to use the additional funding made available by the government in the most effective way possible to help close the gaps in learning, progress and development that threaten the future life chances of a generation. We also recognise that children will have been impacted in different ways and in general those who are most disadvantaged already will have lost out the most.
Our Trust consists of 13 very different schools serving a range of communities and many different needs. Our starting point in thinking how to spend this money to maximum effect was to rely on the knowledge and insights of Headteachers to decide what would work best for the children they know so well. We also wanted to ensure that we spent money on activities and interventions that the evidence showed would have the biggest return. Headteachers and their teams followed the EFF guidance as a framework for decision making.
Collectively we decided to retain at the centre £20 of each £80 allocated in order to fund two important aspects of our delivery plan.
The first of these is a number of interventions and resources that we considered were more efficient and effective if shared across the Trust. These include:
- Investment in a speech and language training and support programme
- Procuring additional Educational Psychologist time to support teachers in helping some of our most vulnerable children impacted by the break in their schooling
- Investing in specialist child and family support for a small but highly vulnerable group of disadvantaged children who are struggling to get back into school
- Investing in two additional KS2 teachers trained to support reading, writing and mathematics in Years 6 and 7, the crucial transition years. We expect these teachers will work across our schools, delivering to targeted small groups of children but also supporting Yr7 teachers in coping with children who may well not be ‘secondary ready’ due to the closure of schools. In the summer term 2021 they would help Year 6 in primary schools as they make their transition to secondary.
The second aspect was the provision of additional funding to schools who had high need but due to the ‘flat funding’ approach did not have enough of this special money to deliver their plans. This fairly small-scale re-distribution is an important sign of the willingness of school leaders in our Trust to think for all 8,000 of our children not just the ones in their own schools.
Schools have developed bespoke plans for their own schools that have been reviewed by the leadership of the Trust and local governing bodies. The overall strategy was also discussed and approved by Trustees. Two independent consultants have been employed by the Trust to review the plans and their implementation in Term 1 and Term 3 to ensure schools are delivering on their plans and assess the impact of what they have put in place. Local Governing Bodies have been asked to review the implementation of their plans at each of their meetings and the Trust Board will receive reports on the impact as the year progresses.
All Trust schools will publish their plans on the school website and keep them under review, making changes as required to ensure they have maximum impact.
CEO – Red Kite Learning Trust
Colton Primary School ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy summary
Our methodology is in line with EEF recommendations and broadly falls into the following categories:
Enhancing great teaching: Professional Development strategies
Targeted academic support: 1-2-1 or small group additional interventions
Wider strategies: Examples include use of additional resources which may benefit all pupils but will specifically close gaps for some.
Our children have proved to be extremely resilient and almost all have bounced back into school excited to see their friends and ready to learn. A small minority have some safeguarding, attachment or EHWB issues and are being supported by Learning Mentor. Predominantly, the curriculum gaps identified are in writing and arithmetic.
Colton Primary School have decided to allocate the funding to the following areas:
Support and training from a speech and language therapist.
Early Talk boost - CPD for our staff and extra TA employed to allow our trained staff to be released to deliver the intervention.
Whole school CPD ‘Talk for Writing’.
Read, Write Inc training and resources for EYFS and KS1.
Additional staffing to support maths, English and phonics teaching.
1:1 tuition to support children in their own bubbles with core subjects.
Extending the school day with 1:1 and small group interventions before and after school.
Third Space Learning 1:1 maths tuition.
Extra pastoral support for children who are ‘Looked After.’
Colton Kids Club reading breakfast and after school comprehension club
Purchasing 'Learning By Questions,' which supports curriculum gap analysis, interactive teaching and remote learning.
Physical development interventions gross motor circuits, movement play and dough disco.
Investment in quality picture books and suitable stimuli for communication, speech and language activities.