SCHOOLS across the region are to be provided with cash to support children not reaching the expected level in literacy and numeracy when they finish primary school.
The government announced today that secondary state schools across the country will receive £500 per pupil.
Called the ‘catch-up premium’, it will provide intensive tuition for Year 7 students who have failed to reach the expected level of literacy and maths skills by the time they move to secondary school.
Portsmouth City Council will receive £197,000 to help 12 secondary schools, including special schools, across the city.
Hampshire County Council, which is responsible for schools in Fareham, Gosport and Havant, will get £686,500 of funding.
Academies and free schools across the area will also benefit from funding on top of this.
The City of Portsmouth Boys School will receive £20,500.
Headteacher Mike Smith, said: ‘We have a whole range of strategies that we employ to support children who come in with low levels in literacy and numeracy.
‘We have had to do that out of our own budget.
‘So it’s certainly welcome and needed. The evidence we have is that it’s very difficult to catch up.
‘We will use it to extend and expand what we already do.
‘It’s nice that the government acknowledges that it’s happening and gives us some resources to continue to expand it.’
Meanwhile, Brune Park Community School in Gosport will get £41,500 of funding.
Headteacher Richard Kelly said: ‘It’s going to be a benefit in the sense that any students who have come up from other schools who are underachieving can be targeted directly to ensure that there is rapid progress.
‘We are working on a project at the moment which is looking at addressing that in the early days rather than it just being a crisis approach later on. This is really positive.’
In order to help the children catch up, they will receive additional help through either individual tuition or intensive support in small groups.
By catching up with their classmates, pupils’ motivation will also be boosted, in turn preventing disruptive behaviour that hinders learning for others.