Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Cash boost to aid struggling pupils

The 'catch-up premium' was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in September

Secondary schools are to be given extra money to help pupils who are falling behind in English and maths, it has been confirmed.

Under the initiative, schools will receive £500 to lay on catch-up classes for youngsters who did not reach the level expected of them in either or both of the two key subjects at the end of primary school.

Last year, 13% of pupils in primary schools in England did not get Level 4 - the level expected of 11-year-olds - in reading, and 16% did not reach it in maths.

Almost 110,000 children will benefit from the £54.5 million scheme, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

The "catch-up premium", first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in September, comes amid concerns by ministers that just 5% of pupils who did not reach Level 4 in English and maths at age 11 went on to get five good GCSEs, including these two subjects.

The funding will pay for individual lessons or intensive help in small groups, the DfE said.

Mr 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."

Under the scheme secondary schools will receive £500 for each pupil that is falling behind.

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