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£300,000 awarded to Sunderland University for school catch up programme

Thousands of North East schoolchildren are set to benefit from a new national programme to help schools catch up on missed learning.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education launched the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), a scheme designed to provide catch-up support to primary and secondary school pupils who may have missed out on lesson during the pandemic.

The University of Sunderland has won its bid to be the delivery partner for the scheme, with just over £313,000 in funding coming direct from NTP.

A team from the University’s Faculty of Education and Society has helped devise a special catch up and recovery course, aimed at trainee teachers, career returners and recently retired educators.

These groups could sign up for the course to provide a helping hand to working teachers already under pressure.

With a new lockdown coming into effect tomorrow (November 5), the scheme is more important than ever.

Mikeala Morgans, principal lecturer and team leader of Initial Teacher Training at University of Sunderland, has been leading on the new programme, along with colleagues Allison Wilson and Kirsty Bell.

She said: “We will be working in collaboration with regional partners to recruit and train 350 excellent tutors to work in schools across the region.

“Our programme is designed to reach over 2500 pupils from KS1-KS4 across the North East in English, mathematics, sciences, humanities and MfL.

“Tutoring will take place in small groups and schools can opt for face to face or online sessions.

“This is a unique opportunity, with 75 per cent of tutoring costs funded by the DfE and 25 per cent by schools, to support the catch up pupils who were out of school for a significant amount of time over the spring and summer.

“Our highly successful and experienced School of Education team here at the University of Sunderland are looking forward to training the tutors ready for their deployment in schools.

“Tutors will also receive high quality safeguarding training to support them in this highly specialised role in schools.

“This is a very exciting initiative which supports the development of graduates taking up tutor roles in schools as well as working in tandem with teachers to ensure all pupils are able to catch up and reach their potential.”