Suffolk/Essex: High schools get £2.5million to help pupils ‘catch-up’
06:00 31 January 2013
HIGH schools in Suffolk and Essex are to receive a massive £2.5million funding boost to deliver “intensive” tuition for underperforming youngsters to help them catch up with classmates.
High schools across the two counties will be handed £500 for every 11-year-old who had not reached the required levels in literacy and maths when they started year seven last autumn.
The news comes after Key Stage 2 exam results published in December showed Suffolk was the joint third-worst authority in England.
Among the schools to benefit the most will be Copleston High School in Ipswich, which will receive £31,000 to help provide additional support for the 62 students who have been “left behind” by their peers. Clacton County High School will receive £46,500 and Alec hunter Humanities College in Braintree will get £19,500.
In total, local authority schools in Suffolk will be handed £453,500 while £432,500 will be distributed between academies and free schools - including £16,000 for the IES Breckland Free School in Brandon and £4,000 to the Saxmundham Free School.
Local authority schools in Essex will be handed £403,000 and £1,071,500 is to be distributed between academies and free schools - including £22,500 for the Philip Morant School and College in Colchester and £35,000 for Tendring Technology College.
The cash injection is part of a £54million nationwide project to raise standards in literacy and maths.
Figures from the Department for Education show that only five per cent of pupils who did not manage to get the target level four 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 grades, the funding will enable them to receive additional help through either individual tuition or intensive support in small groups.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The consequences for a pupil being left behind in the basics when they start secondary school can last for the rest of their education.
“The catch-up premium money being handed out to schools today will help pupils catch up with their peers as quickly as possible. Every child should have the chance to succeed and get off on the right foot when they start their new school.”
Graham Newman, Suffolk’s head of education, said the injection of cash “could make a difference”.
He said: “It’s extremely good news and very encouraging. I don’t think it in any way relieves our obligation for us to raise our key stage two results - we need to put that problem right.”
Graham White, branch secretary of the Suffolk NUT, said that any money for schools was welcome, but in this case he feared it was “too little, too late” and that funding needed to be distributed more strategically and not used as a “quick fix”.
He said: “Any money that comes into schools is always going to be welcome - but it’s missing the point. If we keep making cutbacks then at some point they are going to realise there is not enough money in education.
“We are not going to turn it down, although it’s too little, too late.”