SECONDARY schools across Wearside are set for a cash boost to help students who are lagging behind.
The Government has announced a £54million payout for intensive classes for 110,000 pupils who did not reach the expected level in literacy and maths when they finished primary school.
In 2012, 13 per cent of pupils in all schools failed to gain a Sats Level 4 in reading and 16 per cent failed to achieve this in maths.
Each secondary school will receive a £500 “catch-up” premium for every Year 7 pupil who did not make the primary grade.
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and shadow education minister, said: “Giving schools funding to help pupils catch up on their literacy and numeracy is always welcome.
“However, this scheme merely replaces the one-to-one tuition for the very same pupils that was due to begin in September 2011 under Labour’s plans.
“It should also be seen in the context of the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes being effectively scrapped, despite extremely positive evaluations of their success in boosting pupils’ progress in primary school. Just like with the Pupil Premium, this Government gives with one hand and takes away with the other.”
Figures from the Department for Education show that only five per cent of pupils who did not manage to get Level 4 in both English and maths at Key Stage 2 went on to achieve five GCSEs at A* to C, including English and maths.
The £500 is aimed at helping these children to catch up to their peers and strive for better GCSEs. T
hey will receive additional help through either individual tuition or intensive support in small groups.
Government says the extra support is designed to help bring pupils up to speed so they are more likely to succeed at secondary school, rather than falling further behind. By catching up with their classmates, pupils’ motivation will also be boosted, in turn preventing disruptive behaviour that impedes learning for others.
Schools were due to hear this week exactly how much they will receive from the £54.5million pot