Colleges, providers, schools and academies receive annual funding allocations from Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for the provision of 16 to 19 education. Due to the exceptional circumstances schools have found themselves in, the Government are providing extra funding to mitigate the disruption to learning arising from Covid.
The funding is being provided to support small group tuition for 16 to 19 students in English, maths, and other courses where learning has been disrupted. For example, vocational courses where assessment has been deferred because of lockdown. Although the actual tuition does not need to be for GCSE English or maths, the students supported all need to be those who had not achieved grade 5 or above in at least one of those subjects at this level by age 16. All supported students must be on a 16 to 19 study programme.
The priority of the support is for students who have not achieved a grade 4 in English and/or maths. However, further to those students, if funding is available within our allocation we should consider whether any young people with a grade 4 also need catch up support. The aim is to prioritise students that will benefit most from small group tuition, based on the criteria above. We also have regard to the needs of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), particularly where they have experienced additional disruption to learning as a result of their specific needs and disabilities.
We have been provided with flexibility to decide the most appropriate approach to resourcing the delivery of small group tuition supported through the fund. This may include a mix of both teaching and learning support staff as appropriate. Anyone delivering small group tuition has the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience, and has received appropriate training where necessary. Resourcing could be through paying for more hours from existing staff, hiring new staff, or buying in a service from a third party provider.
In line with the evidence on the impact of small group tuition in other contexts, our expectation is that tuition delivered to small groups of up to three students is likely to deliver the greatest impact. Whilst providers will need to make their own decisions on the best approach and to explain that as part of the published statement, we would not expect groups supported from the fund to exceed five students, other than in one off or exceptional circumstances (for example absence of a member of staff requiring the merger of two existing groups on a temporary basis).