Last reviewed 27 April 2021

Schools in England can now register to offer a summer school to help children recover learning they have lost during the pandemic, the Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed.

They will, it announced, be encouraged to bid for a share of £200 million in government funding to design summer schools for students who have experienced the most disruption.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that incoming Year 7 students will “predominantly be encouraged” to get involved, to help them navigate the important transition between primary and secondary school following a year of disrupted learning.

Summer schools will include a variety of activities from group activities such as sports to mental health support and academic catch up such as maths and English lessons.

A longer-term plan to help all students recover from the impact of the pandemic is currently under development, led by Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins.

“Additional support this summer – on top of the National Tutoring programme and additional funding for schools – will help boost learning and wellbeing plus help prepare those pupils about to start secondary schools,” Mr Williamson said.

Schools can sign up online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-summer-schools-programme-funding/coronavirus-covid-19-summer-schools-programme-funding-sign-up-form-guidance to confirm their plans, with flexibility for them to target funding at other groups of students dependent on their local circumstances.

Parents should expect to hear from their schools over the course of May and June as they progress with their planning, the DfE said, but it remains at the discretion of schools which students they target their summer school offer towards.

Summer schools should also offer an opportunity for schools to support students’ wellbeing, the Department concluded, and schools should include activities such as team games, music, drama or sports activities in their plans.