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catch-up tuition funding after covid

How Your School Can Make the Most of Covid Catch-Up Funding

Date posted : 26 October 2021

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic first shut schools, the educational community has been deeply concerned about its effects on the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. In June 2020, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary announced a £1 billion package of “catch-up” funding to mitigate the impacts of learning loss for children in England.

This has been renewed for the new academic year with a further £1 billion. This funding package is designed to make high-impact, small-group private tutoring accessible for the poorest students.     

What catch-up funding is available?

The £650 million catch-up premium that the government made available for the 2020/21 academic year has now expired. In its place, £1 billion has since been made available in a huge expansion to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which is now the cornerstone of the DfE’s catch-up objectives.  

What is the National Tutoring Programme?

The National Tutoring Programme is a subsidy that allows the vast majority of English schools to provide targeted, small-group tutoring to their most disadvantaged pupils. As an educational initiative, it is unprecedented in its scale and reach. 

How does the NTP work?

The NTP has been structured to give six million pupils a 15-hour package of intensive tutoring each. Schools have three options, or ‘strands’, through which to take advantage of this catch-up funding. 

The Tuition Partners strand will cover 70% of the cost of hiring an officially approved Tuition Partner to provide and manage tutors. Schools will specify the subjects and age cohorts they wish to benefit from this tutoring. Lessons will predominantly take place in groups of three, though smaller group sizes and one-on-one tutoring can be arranged if needed.

Teaching Personnel is proud to have been selected as a Tuition Partner for the second year in a row.

This strand subsidises 95% of the salary of an Academic Mentor. This individual, typically a graduate, will help the Senior Leadership Team identify the support pupils need, and work with the class teacher to provide it.

This strand of the NTP, newly introduced for 2021, provides a greater level of choice for schools in how they run their catch-up programme. Schools can hire from outside the list of approved Tuition Partners, allowing them to draw from existing (or former) members of their workforce or to hire new staff.


This strand is funded by a grant that all schools automatically receive, calculated to cover 75% of tuition costs for 60% of a school’s pupil premium recipients. The grant is ring-fenced and can only be spent on the staffing costs of tuition. Schools should now have received the first instalment from the DfE.

Find out more about the new School-Led Tutoring route by reading this comprehensive explainer.

Is my school eligible to receive this funding?

All state-funded schools in England are eligible to receive catch-up funding for the National Tutoring Programme. This includes special schools and Alternative Provision settings. 

How can I take advantage of the NTP?

In the 2020/21 academic year, Teaching Personnel helped 639 schools across England use their catch-up funding to support 19,440 disadvantaged pupils as an NTP Tuition Provider. Our new NTP Impact Report tells the story of our success in the first year. 

Having been selected again as Tuition Partners for the second year, we have expanded the range of our services. Our experienced tutors are currently working in schools through both the Tuition Partners and School-Led Tutoring funding strands. Their expertise and diligence are critical in helping in-need pupils catch up after Covid.

If you want to learn more about using the government’s Covid catch-up funding options to support your school’s disadvantaged pupils, get in touch with our NTP support team today.

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