Secondary pupils could be offered summer schools

The government is considering extending making all pupils to wear masks outside classroom bubbles in secondary schools.

The government is considering extending making all pupils to wear masks outside classroom bubbles in secondary schools. - Credit: PA

Secondary schools in Norfolk and across England are to be asked to provide face-to-face summer schools in a bid to enable pupils to catch up with lessons lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has announced an extra £420m in funding, along with £300m for catch-up projects in January.

The prime minister Boris Johnson said the money will help ensure "no child is left behind" due to the pandemic.

Teachers' unions said allocating the money should be up to schools, which reopen to all pupils from March 8.

Mr Johnson has confirmed all pupils will return to classrooms next month as part of the first step of a roadmap for easing England's lockdown.

National restrictions since last March have led many pupils to lose around half a school year in face-to-face learning, the government said.

Announcing the catch-up plans, Mr Johnson praised teachers and parents for a "heroic job with home schooling" but said the classroom was "the best place for our children to be".

Summer schools will be introduced for pupils who need it most, potentially starting with those who will be moving up to Year 7 at secondary school this year.

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But there are concerns about teachers burning out if they have to work through the holiday, and some unions are wary of overwhelming pupils.

The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, with the average secondary school getting around £22,000 extra in recovery premium payments, the Department for Education said.

These premium payments may also be used to support the most disadvantaged pupils to catch-up from the start of the new academic year in September.

The government considered a variety of options for pupils - including extended school days and shorter summer holidays - but neither of these proposals form part of the plan to be set out on Wednesday.

Alongside the newly-announced programme, online resources will continue over the summer through Oak National Academy.

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