Hundreds of pupils in Norfolk will be given intensive catch-up tuition worth around £1.4m to ensure they can read and do maths to the benchmark standard when starting secondary school.

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Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced the “catch-up premium” during his main speech on the last day of the Liberal Democrat annual party conference in Brighton yesterday.

Under the plan secondary schools will receive an additional £500 for every pupil coming to them who has not achieved at least Level 4, the expected standard, in reading or maths. The cash will then be used by head teachers to deliver additional tuition or intensive support in small groups, in a bid to bring students up to speed.

This year in Norfolk around 16pc of children did not reach Level 4 in reading, some 1,280 pupils. Meanwhile in maths 19pc did not make the benchmark, around 1,520 pupils.

Speaking before his speech Mr Clegg said: “Secondary school is a massive step up for pupils when much bigger demands are placed on their abilities.

“For tens of thousands of children, this is all the more daunting because they are simply not equipped with the basics of English and maths needed to unlock the variety of subjects now on offer to them. Pupils who start secondary school behind their peers should be given every chance to catch up as quickly as possible. The funding I’m announcing today will allow schools to provide intensive tuition to help pupils to get up to speed and so get the best out of their secondary school education.”

In Suffolk, where secondary schools will receive around £1.24m from the measure, 1,104 youngsters did not make the benchmark level in reading and 1,380 failed to reach the standard level in maths.

The government highlights evidence pupils who are behind in English and maths when they start secondary school struggle to achieve better GCSE grades in a range of subjects.

Only 30pc of those not achieving Level 4 in reading at the end of primary school go on to get five A* to Cs at GCSE. For pupils on free school meals this drops to a meagre seven per cent.

In total almost 110,000 pupils in state schools across the country will benefit from the catch-up premium this year. Funding will be allocated to schools in January 2013 and will then be guaranteed every year up to 2015.

1 comment

  • Well that would be most children, as for meddling with GCSE's when I took an apprentice on who had a higher GCSE grade than I got, but I can spell, use grammar etc. and he who had lived in Norfolk all his life spelt Norfolk incorrectly in 2 ways on the same day, the whole GCSE exam 'fiasco' is just that, a joke, in 3 months he made over 50 simple spelling mistakes, with many other issues too I had to sack him. Before I had our apprentice had said his real forte was maths, so I tried some very simple maths tests on him, which he failed terribly. I wrote to his old head master outlining all the errors and asking how he got any grade at all, I got no response, or from the exam board asking the same question, as far as I am concerned GCSE's have been milked down so that people who shouldn't even have a grade at all, can get a fairly decent grade. Our 12 year old is at high school, struggling with German and raised a good question with his teacher, if he can't even spell or write neatly in English, why is he being taught German? I asked him last night to get his homework out as he still had spelling mistakes to correct, he said that's ok, I handed it in to Miss Curtain today, I told her there were quite a few spelling mistakes and she said 'that’s alright, it doesn't matter' yes it blooming well does! There is this new way of teaching now where if you convey your message ok that will do, spell how words sound etc., what a stupid way to teach. I wouldn't take on another apprentice again based on exam results as they mean nothing anymore, so Cleggy boy, you need a whole lot more investment than £1.4 million, they need cash and to declare WAR or get RAW with Writing, Arithmetic & Reading, and everyone going on about getting a lower grade, it’s probably not low enough, not vice versa. Teaching standards have dropped significantly, exam results do not reflect the true ability of students and they are going out into the working world totally unprepared causing grief for employers and young workers alike.

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    Jason Bunn

    Friday, September 28, 2012

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