With months of missed face-to-face teaching due to Covid, secondary schools in England may be asked to consider summer schools in order to help students make up for lost time. The government plans to provide extra funding to facilitate catch-up projects that will ensure “no child is left behind”.
Teachers and unions agree that the funding is a good start, but they have also warned against overwhelming teachers and students who may already feel burnt out. The government has therefore suggested that schools themselves can decide how and if they decide to run summer schools.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that the average primary school will receive around £6,000 in extra money, and the average secondary school will receive around an extra £22,000. Head teachers can then decide how this money will be used such as for paying teachers overtime for extra teaching.
However, some parents are less keen on the idea of using summertime for extra learning. Some feel as though children will not be motivated enough to attend to more schooling over the summer. Many just want teachers and students to have a proper break. One parent commented: “My children have suffered enough with this pandemic and they will not attend any summer camps. We have all struggled to cope in these hard times, and stealing my children’s summer is not the way to go.”
Although there do not seem to be any perfect solutions to help students catch-up, summer schools do provide the option to help those that need support the most. It is more than likely that not all students will be required to use their summertime for extra schooling, but rather that teachers will decide who could benefit from some additional support.