The Department for Education has today announced up to £9 million for schools to boost Reception-age children’s early language skills.
Schools are being encouraged to sign up for an early years ‘catch up’ programme focused on raising outcomes in speaking and language skills among young pupils whose education has been disrupted by Covid-19 at a crucial time for their development.
Up to £9 million is available for the programme to provide schools with training and resources, helping them deliver one-to-one and small-group support for five-year-olds whose spoken language skills may have suffered as a result of the pandemic.
The investment is part of the National Tutoring Programme and the Government’s £1 billion Covid catch-up package announced in June. Every state funded school which has a Reception class will be invited to apply for this support, with priority given to schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils.
The Department has also confirmed that supplementary funding worth up to £23 million for Maintained Nursery Schools will be continued through the summer term of 2021.
Longer-term arrangements will be set out in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.