The government's new direct-to-schools tutoring fund will amount to just £203 per eligible pupil, it has emerged.
In an email sent to heads yesterday, the Department for Education set out the details of its third route into tutoring for disadvantaged pupils, whereby schools will have flexibility to hire new or existing staff to deliver the catch-up sessions.
The scheme will run alongside the government's flagship National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which is also being scaled up as part of the education recovery effort.
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The DfE previously said a total of £579 million would fund schools to "develop local tutoring provision", which will "complement the NTP offer".
But yesterday's message to school leaders reveals that the offer amounts to just £203 for 60 per cent of children in Years 1 to 11 who are eligible for the pupil premium.
This means the typical primary school, with a cohort of 200 pupils, is set to receive £6,000 in direct funding, while secondaries with 1,000 students will get £35,000 each.
The allocations will rise to £529 for 60 per cent of children on the pupil premium in special schools, including special units within mainstream schools, alternative provision and pupil referral units, and hospital schools.
The remaining 40 per cent of pupils in receipt of the premium will be targeted through the NTP, the DfE said.
While allocations will be "proportionate to the number of pupil premium students on roll", the department said schools may use the cash for any children they feel would "benefit the most".
The email states: "The school-led tutoring scheme is designed to complement the existing tutoring routes introduced in 2020 through the NTP.
"In 2021-22, the department will expand the amount of tuition available through the programme to provide access for tutoring support to around 40 per cent of pupil premium students, across all state-funded schools in England.
"The amount of funding available through the school-led tutoring grant reflects this, by providing sufficient funding to schools to offer tutoring support for the remaining 60 per cent of pupil premium students."
It adds: "All state-funded primary, middle and secondary schools in England, including academies and free schools, will receive £203 for 60 per cent of pupils eligible for pupil premium, from Year 1 to Year 11.
"As schools will be given the discretion to use the funding for pupils they feel would benefit the most, funds received through the school-led tutoring grant funding are not restricted to pupil premium pupils only.
"We recognise that schools are in the best position to identify the pupils in most need of tuition support and should use this money to support these students.
"With school-led tutoring funding, a typical primary school of 200 pupils will receive £6,000 while a typical secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £35,000.
"Final allocations will be confirmed to schools at the beginning of the autumn term."
The email also confirms that schools will be expected to pay a quarter of the costs of their local tutoring provision in 2021-22.
"For the next academic year, the grant will be calculated to cover 75 per cent of the cost of locally-sourced tuition (based on average costs of tutoring) with schools contributing the remaining costs," it says.
The existing NTP offers two main routes into tutoring.
Schools can either access subsidised catch-up sessions from a list of approved providers, or – if they are in a disadvantaged area – they also have the option to employ "academic mentors", trained by Teach First, to deliver one-to-one and small group tutoring on site.