PLANS are in full swing to help Trafford’s children catch up on lost learning this summer.

Schools across the borough have received funding from the Government to support summer schools aiming to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

The project's aim is to ‘deliver a short summer school with a blend of academic education and enrichment activities’, according to the Government.

The schools across the borough that have received Government funding and that are set to run summer teaching are:

  • Ashton on Mersey School
  • Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College
  • Broadoak School
  • Flixton Girls School
  • Loreto Grammar School
  • Manor Academy Sale
  • North Cestrian School
  • St Antony’s Roman Catholic School
  • Stretford High School
  • Urmston Grammar Academy
  • Wellacre Technology Academy

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for the distribution of funding, but it did not have figures to confirm exact amounts given to each school at the time of writing.

To be eligible for the Government's funding, the school has to be state-funded, a special school or a pupil referral unit, and each individual school has to apply for its own funding.

Funding amounts have been calculated on the basis of a school’s existing Year 7 cohort. As special schools and alternative provision generally tend to have very few, if any, Year 7 pupils, their funding is calculated on the basis of their Year 11 cohort.

The DfE estimates that in the first half-term of autumn 2020, pupils in:

  • Years 3 to 9 were on average around 1.6 to 2 months behind on their reading.
  • Years 3 to 7 were around 3.2 months behind on their maths.
  • Schools with high numbers of pupils eligible for free school meals were on average further behind those in schools with low free school meals eligibility.

The DfE website states: “Anecdotal evidence also points to children and young people’s mental health has suffered from lockdown and from periods of individual or class isolation even after schools reopened fully in the autumn term.”

It estimates that pupils attending a summer school can add up to two months’ additional progress compared with pupils who do not attend, and up to four months’ additional progress if the summer school offers small group tuition led by highly-trained and experienced teaching staff.

Trafford Council is supporting the schools, but they are individually responsible for their summer learning plans and how to spend the money they have received from Government.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “Schools in Trafford are using funding from the Government’s Covid-19 catch-up premium to help pupils recover from lost teaching time. The scheme was set up to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Leadership teams and staff in Trafford schools know the needs of their pupils and communities best and as such are using this knowledge and expertise to provide bespoke programmes to help their pupils close gaps and recover learning.

“They are using a range of resources including summer schools, tutoring and the latest research based information and guidance from national organisations such as the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) to allow all Trafford children to achieve and succeed.”