Schools can use catch-up funds to pay teachers to work in summer schools, education secretary Gavin Williamson said today.
Mr Williamson was leading the Downing Street press briefing this afternoon when he was asked who would staff the summer schools, which were announced today as part of a plan to help pupils catch-up after the pandemic.
Around £200 million will be made available for secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools.
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Mr Williamson said schools will be able to pay existing staff to run the classes, as well as bring new staff in.
He was asked: “On summer schools, who’s actually going to staff these extra classes over the holidays and would you like to see teachers actually take some time out of their holidays to help run those?”
He replied: “The reasons that we have given schools the additional resource is that they’re then in a position to be able to pay existing staff and bring new staff in, and be able to properly resource these schools and give a high-quality support for children that come in there.
“It’s really about the flexibility of what works for the school but, most importantly, what will be working best for the children.”
However, headteachers warned this afternoon that summer schools were “not the big solution”.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Some schools already have a tradition of running summer schools, and there’s likely to be some extra provision as a result of this announcement, but they are logistically challenging to set up from scratch, and it does depend on the extent of parental demand for them.
“We have to avoid getting hooked on the idea of summer schools as the big solution. They may be a useful addition, but the main work on catch-up will take place when all children are in school.”