Plymouth to get £300,000 for pupils falling behind in core subjects
Plymouth pupils who have fallen behind in literacy and maths are set to receive a funding boost of nearly £300,000.
The Department for Education has announced that state secondary schools will receive £500 to help every Year 7 pupil who did not reach the expected level in literacy and maths when they finished primary school.
The 'catch-up premium' will provide intensive tuition for pupils who have fallen short of government targets.
Altogether, schools in Plymouth are set to receive £179,500.
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Tens of thousands of pounds will also be given to students in schools on the outskirts of the city that fall into the Devon and Cornwall council areas.
Councillor Nicky Williams, Cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We broadly welcome this announcement.
"It would have been useful for schools' planning if they had known this funding was coming, but with every sector being squeezed of money, this is welcome news."
At All Saints Church of England Academy, a handout of £21,000 will be making its way to school coffers.
Peter Grainger, principal of All Saints Academy, said: "I haven't officially had anything come through as yet but I'll be delighted to help students more than we do already and close the gap of knowledge they may not have on entry.
"I will always welcome extra funding. Ideally the more time and help students receive ideally the more progress they will make."
Marine Academy Plymouth is also set to receive £20,000.
Principal Helen Mathieson said: "We welcome all support for our children who deserve every possible assistance to fulfil their potential.
"This funding will be used to enhance intensive tuition in literacy and numeracy, because for Year 7s it is the basic skills which enable them to properly access the curriculum, and make real progress."
Figures from the Department for Education show only five per cent of pupils who did not manage to get Level 4 in both English and maths at Key Stage 2 went on to achieve five GCSEs at A* to C, including English and maths.
In order to help these children catch up and strive for better GCSEs, they will receive additional help through either individual tuition or intensive support in small groups.
The extra support is designed to help bring pupils up to speed so they are more likely to succeed at secondary school, rather than falling further behind.
By catching up with their classmates, pupils' motivation will also be boosted, in turn preventing disruptive behaviour that impedes learning for others, education chiefs say.
Nationally, the catch-up premium funding for this academic year (2012/13) will be £54.5million, and schools will hear today how much they are set to receive.
The catch-up premium will support every Year 7 pupil who has not achieved at least Level 4 – the expected level – at Key Stage 2 in either or both literacy or maths.
In 2012, 13 per cent of pupils in all schools failed to gain a Level 4 in reading – and 16 per cent, or 109,000 pupils, failed to make the grade in maths.
Schools will have freedom to decide how best to use the catch-up premium.
It has been suggested they could adopt small-group tuition supported by new classroom materials and resources, which could take place at lunchtimes or after school.
Alternatively, holiday support could be provided to deliver intensive catch-up over a short period.
Or additional services and materials to add to those provided by the school, such as tutor services or proven computer-based learning or online support has been suggested.