Summer catch-up classes canned as teachers complain they ‘need a break’


Summer catch-up classes canned as teachers complain they ‘need a break’

Fewer than one in five schools will run summer catch-up programmes, as they say teachers “need a break” during the holidays.

Just 18 per cent of headteachers said they intended to run summer schools, according to a survey of over 1,000 school leaders.

When asked why they had decided not to run activities for children over the long vacation, the most popular reason was that “staff need a proper break over the summer”, with 88 per cent of respondents choosing this option.

The second most popular reason for not running summer activities was that pupils needed a proper break, followed by a belief that families would not sign their children up even if there were activities.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education (DfE) announced it was setting up a fund of £200 million which secondary schools could apply for to run activities for children over the summer holidays.

Officials said the summer schools – which could last a maximum of two weeks – should be targeted at children who had suffered the most disruption during the past year.

Schools were invited to bid for the funding, which could be used to cover additional staffing costs, free meals for children, transport and activities.

As well as academic support, DfE said that the summer schools should include “enrichment activities” such as team games, music, drama or sports.

So far the Government has pledged just over £3 million to help children catch up following over a year of disrupted schooling owing to the pandemic.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister’s catch-up tsar resigned, accusing ministers of a “half-hearted” approach to helping children. He warned that the current funding allocated “does not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge” posed by months of school disruption.

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