Over 60% of teachers are ‘happy to work’ over summer holidays to help struggling pupils, research finds – The Sun

Over 60% of teachers are ‘happy to work’ over summer holidays to help struggling pupils, research finds – The Sun

May 23, 2020

SIX in 10 teachers are willing to give up their summer hols to help struggling kids, it has emerged.

School staff want to get back into the classroom in July and August to help boost grades for disadvantaged kids affected by the coronavirus crisis.

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Summer camps are already being worked on by officials in Whitehall as 61 per cent of teachers are willing to put in extra shifts, a survey has found.

The findings come as the National Education Union indicated they are willing to speed up talks with the Government — which hopes to have schools open from next Monday.

More than 7,000 teachers took part in the poll which showed the majority wanted to reduce their time off to help pupils “get back on track”.

Charity Teach First has called on catch-up camps to be launched over the summer as long as social distancing measures allow it.

The move would allow children from disadvantaged backgrounds to reduce the attainment gap caused by being away from the classroom.

Thirty-two per cent of teachers willing to take part would give up a week of their summer break while 29 per cent would give up more.

The majority of those prepared to give up some of their six-week break would want to be paid overtime.

Analysis shows that pupils who attend summer school make a staggering two months additional progress compared to those who don’t.

This can even increase to four months if the courses are intensive and run by experienced teachers.

Teach First CEO Russell Hobby said: “Many schools will be cautiously opening to more pupils this summer if the evidence says it is safe.

“But some children may be out of school until September and many children in lower income families have limited access to internet or devices to learn from home.

“We think there is a strong case for one or two weeks of intensive provision for those who need it most, either during the summer or even into the Autumn, so that teachers can see pupils to check how they are and help them get ready for learning again.

“This will help to ensure pupils can make a good start when schools fully open again.

“We cannot allow a generation of pupils to fall behind on their education.

“We must do whatever we can to support schools serving the pupils who need us and not let this generation be left behind.”

Tory MP Robert Halfon said the idea of summer schools was a “no-brainer” for the government.

He said: “Coronavirus could lead to a decade of educational poverty and a huge safeguarding crisis for vulnerable children.

“Summer school which allows for catch-up lessons and mentoring will make all the difference.”

GAP IN PERFORMANCE

The Sun on Sunday revealed last week that the gap in performance of Britain’s poorest pupils has been set back a decade since the lockdown — mainly due to not having internet access at home.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has already tasked his officials to work on plans for catch-up camps during the summer break.

He revealed “initiatives” are being looked at to be rolled out to help with lost lessons since schools closed for most students in March.

However, he said that there are “no plans” for schools to re-open in full over the summer months.

The Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies has said a track and trace system must be in place before schools are allowed to open.

Ministers hope to bring back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 on June 1.

The remaining primary school pupils could return on June 22 for a month before terms end.

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