On 24 March 2021, ASDC was delighted to welcome Sir Kevan Collins to speak to UK Science Centres at our fortnightly UK Science Centre Resilience Forum.
Sir Kevan is the Government’s Education Catch up Commissioner and former CEO of the Education Endowment Fund and was talking with around 50 staff from over 30 UK Science Centres, from England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales about the role they might play in the nation's Education Recovery plan.
Amongst other things, Sir Kevan is also in charge of this recently announced fund:
“£200 million will be available to secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the government is suggesting they may want to initially target incoming year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country.”
The session was chaired by Dr Penny Fidler, CEO of ASDC, with questions chaired by Bridget Holligan, Director of Education and Engagement at Science Oxford, and ASDC Trustee and Chair of The ASDC Education Group.
Before Sir Kevan joined the session, Dr Penny Fidler outlined Strategic ambitions for the UK Science Centres and desirable outputs of today’s session. Long-term and short-term ambitions of our sector.
Bridget Holligan briefed those present on the details of the Education Catch up plans to date
Sir Kevan Collins joined the session and outlined his plans
Summary of Key Points from the discussion
For Sir Kevan Collins, the education recovery programme needs to be fair, broad (i.e. inclusive of non-academic outcomes), long-term and ‘fearless’ and will require very significant funding to be successful. Funding announced so far by the government (e.g. for the National Tutoring Programme, summer schools, Recovery Premium) is a ‘good start’.
The response has to be school-led as they are best-placed to understand the needs of their pupils – having good relationships with schools, Multi-Academy Trusts and Local Authorities will be beneficial to Science Centres in this regard.
The success of education recovery programmes will be judged against three key outcomes for pupils:
Closing the disadvantage gap
Broader social, emotional and physical well-being
Sir Kevan Collins intends to avoid a ‘scatter gun’ approach to education recovery and there will be ‘3 pillars’ of education recovery activity:
Teaching quality (all subjects)
Tutoring (targeted work with pupils)
Extending the ‘school experience’
Science Centres are likely to be best-placed to link with education recovery programmes via the ‘extending the school experience’ pillar, which is the one with the broadest scope. Science Centres with high-quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for teachers could also be well placed to support the ‘teaching quality’ pillar.
Science Centres discussed running the following types of sessions:
After-school STEM clubs in the Science Centre
STEM clubs in the Schools, via remote delivery and in person delivery
Space holiday clubs
Summer camps, mainly in 2022
Information on The new recovery package for England includes:
A new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, to further support pupils who need it most. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, and the average secondary school around £22,000 extra. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their students, for example laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September.
£200 million (from the £300 million announced by the Prime Minister in January to expand our successful tutoring programmes). This will fund an £83 million expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for primary and secondary schools, which has been shown to boost catch up learning by as much as 3-5 months at a time; a £102 million extension of the 16-19 Tuition Fund for a further year to support more students in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects; and £18 million funding to support language development in the early years – £10m to be allocated to a pre-reception early language programme and £8m for Nuffield Foundation to deliver the Nuffield Early Language Intervention for reception children.
£200 million (including the final £100 million from the Prime Minister’s announcement) will be available to secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the government is suggesting they may want to initially target incoming year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country.
A range of high-quality online resources will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays. These will be provided by Oak National Academy, to help give pupils the confidence they are ready for the next academic year.
As part of the government’s commitment to develop a longer-term education recovery plan, Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, will lead the way on longer-term engagement work with teachers, school and college leaders, educational charities and families to review how evidence-based interventions can be used to address the impact the pandemic has had on learning.
Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins said:
The National Tutoring Programme has already put us on the right path by enabling tens of thousands of young people to benefit from the high-quality support that tutoring offers.
We know that ensuring all children and young people can make up for lost learning will be a longer-term challenge, and the range of measures announced today are an important next step.
But this is just the beginning and I’ll be engaging with the sector, educational charities as well as families, to ensure this support is delivered in a way that works for both young people and the sector and to understand what more is needed to help recover students’ lost learning over the course of this parliament.