A new Multi-million pound ‘catch up’ programme
Many primary schools across England have now successfully signed up for a programme to boost early language skills among Reception age children.
Training will be provided for more than 22,000 staff.
The objective of this multi-million pound ‘catch up’ programme is to raise outcomes in speaking and language skills for young pupils whose communication may have suffered as a result of time spent out of the classroom during the pandemic.
Interest in the NELI programme has exceeded its early target. One quarter of primary schools in England, with 33% already registered.
The target is now set at 40% of primary schools this academic year, who will share in the £9 million investment.
Pupils with the greatest need.
The programme is aimed at pupils with the greatest need. Places will be allocated in priority order, determined by the proportion of pupils eligible for Free School Meals.
The DfE’s £20 million investment into the Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP) now moves into its second phase.
Its aim is to boost children’s development in early literacy and mathematics. Through this programme, Pre-Reception children benefit from improved support through the deployment of 400 newly-trained early years ‘champions’. These ‘champions’ are trained to share their skills, knowledge and behaviours with staff in 51 local authorities.
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:
“No child should fall behind as a result of lost learning time, especially in the crucial early years of their education. I’m so pleased to see thousands of schools sign up to this package of support to help our youngest children get back on track.
“We want every child to thrive as they progress through school, which is why it’s vital we provide extra support in this challenging time to equip them with the important early language skills to express themselves clearly and effectively.”
NELI will run as a 20-week intervention for pupils from February 2020.
Schools will be provided with training and resources, free of charge to support one-to-one and small-group support intervention.