Covid workforce funding for worst-hit schools unveiled

Only schools hit by major staffing shortages can apply for the new short-term government coronavirus funding
27th November 2020, 3:04pm

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Covid workforce funding for worst-hit schools unveiled

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/covid-workforce-funding-worst-hit-schools-unveiled
Coronavirus: A New Covid Workforce Fund Has Been Announced By The Dfe To Help Schools Suffering Staffing Problems

A new Covid workforce fund has been announced by the Department for Education to allow schools that face major staff shortages to apply for help with the extra costs they face during the current half-term.

The new "short-term" funding will only be available to schools if they have used a set amount of their cash reserves and hit a government threshold for the number of teachers who are off work.

The Department for Education said that schools will only be able to apply for the fund once their reserves are down to 4 per cent of their annual income.


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Schools and colleges must also be experiencing either a short-term teacher absence rate of 20 per cent or more or a long-term teacher absence rate of 10 per cent or more to be able to apply.

Coronavirus: Schools can apply for 'workforce' funding

Special schools and alternative-provision schools can apply if they experience a short-term teacher absence rate of 15 per cent or more.

The fund will be backdated to 1 November. The DfE has not announced how much money has been earmarked for this funding.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Keeping schools and colleges open is a national priority, which is why I am launching the Covid workforce fund, to support schools and colleges facing  significant budget pressures and staff absences. 

"This new funding comes on top of our funding for schools facing exceptional costs during the summer months, the £1 billion Covid catch-up fund to help all children make up for lost learning, and the core school funding that is seeing the biggest increase in a decade. 

"I know how hard school and college staff and leaders have worked over the past nine months, and I want to once again thank everyone working in education for going above and beyond while we continue to deal with the extra pressures caused by the pandemic."

The funding comes after pressure from education unions to reimburse schools for the extra costs they have faced as a result of Covid-19 since reopening this term.

A petition calling for the government to reimburse schools for these costs passed 15,000 signatures in just one week.

Susan Acland-Hood, the DfE's acting permanent secretary, told the Commons Public Accounts Committee yesterday that the department was in talks with the Treasury to ensure that schools don't have to close because of a lack of funding during the pandemic.

 

 

 

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