Boris Johnson to launch £700million summer school programme to help pupils catch up
Secondary schools are being asked to offer face-to-face summer schools as part of a multimillion pound catch up programme for children.
An additional £400 million of funding has been pledged, on top of the £300m pledged earlier this year in January.
The catch-up scheme is set to help children whose education has been disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Part of the scheme involves summer provision for those pupils who need it the most, such as incoming Year 7 pupils, with one-to-one and small group tutoring schemes set to be expanded.
The programme includes a one-off £302m ‘Recovery Premium’ to help disadvantaged pupils in both primary and secondary schools. The money is set to fund the running of additional clubs and activities in the summer, or for evidence-based approaches to help students from September.
Face-to-face summer schools for secondary schools will also be funded by a further £200m.
However, Labour points out that the funding totals to 43p per pupil per day, and is less than the amount spent on the now controversial Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Mr Johnson said: “When schools re-open and face to face education resumes on March 8th, our next priority will be ensuring no child is left behind as a result of the learning they have lost over the past year.
“This extensive programme of catch-up funding will equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to support their pupils, and give children the opportunities they deserve to learn and fulfil their potential.”
Sir Kevan Collins was appointed as the education recovery commission earlier this month by Boris Johnson to help oversee the government’s catch-up programme for pupils.
Collins is set to develop long term plans for evidence-based interventions to address the impact of Covid-19 on learning, after engaging with schools, colleges, charities and parents.
Sir Kevan said: “We know that ensuring all children and young people can make up for lost learning will be a longer-term challenge, and the range of measures announced today are an important next step.
“But this is just the beginning and I’ll be engaging with the sector, educational charities as well as families, to ensure this support is delivered in a way that works for both young people and the sector and to understand what more is needed to help recover students’ lost learning over the course of this parliament.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson added: “Our package of measures will deliver vital support to the children and young people who need it most, making sure everyone has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter their background.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Summers schools will be of value for some pupils but it will be important not to overwhelm students. Recovery cannot happen in a single summer.”
The measure was called a ‘promising start’ by founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, Sir Peter Lampl but he added that there were ‘no quick fixes’ and called for a consistent multi-year recovery plan.
He said: “The strongest evidence for accelerating learning is for increasing time for high-quality teaching. Targeted summer schools are one way to achieve this, and it’s good that schools will have flexibility to decide what will work best for them and their staff.
“However, it’s important to recognise the problem of teacher burnout that could be exacerbated by additional workload.”
Shadow education secretary Kate Green said: “This is not adequate and will not make up for the learning and time with friends that children have lost.
“There is no specific mention of supporting children’s mental health or wellbeing, which is fundamental to enabling their recovery from this pandemic.”
Woman tragically dies in Manchester petrol station incident
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead
An elderly woman has died following a crash at a petrol station in Manchester.
Officers believe the woman, who was in her 70s, suffered a medical episode while at the wheel of her car when she crashed into a small brick wall.
She had been trying to drive the Nissan Micra off the forecourt of the Asda petrol station in Moston Lane, Harpurhey, at approximately 10.45am on Wednesday, March 22nd.
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead. Greater Manchester Police have appealed for any witnesses to help them.
A section of stretch of road, near the junction with Rochdale Road, was closed for a number of hours while emergency services dealt with the incident. Paramedics and two air ambulances were seen.
Anyone with information or on the forecourt at the time of the incident should contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting log 1103-22/3/2023.
Information can also be reported online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk. If you can’t report online, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
‘Postbox to heaven’ now installed at Greater Manchester crematorium
Such a lovely idea!
A postbox allowing people to send letters to their loved ones in heaven has now been installed at a Greater Manchester crematorium.
The white and gold Royal Mail letterbox can be found at Howe Bridge crematorium in Atherton, Wigan Borough. It was the idea of nine-year-old Matilda Handy who wanted to send a letter to her late grandparents to help her cope with the grief of her loss.
The first was set-up at Gedling Crematorium, near Nottingham, and proved a popular concept with over 100 letters and cards posted within its first few weeks. Speaking to Granada Reports, Matilda’s mother Leanne, who is Gedling Crematorium’s Memorial Advisor, said: “She was four when my mum died, and never met my dad.
“Now the postbox is in place, I am so pleased that local people are using it, and taking some comfort from it, as another way of feeling connected to their loved ones.”
UK crematorium and cemetery operator, Westerleigh Group is now rolling out the postboxes across all of its sites.
Lindsey Edwardson, Site Manager at Howe Bridge Crematorium, said: “Feedback has shown that the process of writing a letter, or perhaps a birthday card, to a lost loved one has already brought therapeutic comfort to many people.
“Now, the communities in and around our crematorium can do the same thing. No address or stamps are required on any of the letters or cards. This is just another way in which we can provide emotional support to local families.”
A post on the Howe Bridge Crematorium Facebook page read: “We are proud to announce the official opening of our Letters to Heaven Post Box. Our thanks go to Alison Regan Civil Funeral Celebrant for her beautiful service to commemorate its opening.
“For all those who wish, you can post a letter to your loved ones that are no longer with us at the Post Box.”
Woman with undiagnosed brain tumour had to visit doctors nine times to get scan
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story
A woman with an undiagnosed brain tumour who was told ‘we don’t give out brain scans to 24-year-olds willy nilly’ is now campaigning for change.
Claudia Laird, from Burnley, went to see a medical professional on nine occasions as she tried to get to the bottom of why she felt so unwell. One week later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Claudia told ITV Granada Reports: “I think the initial reaction was trusting of the GP. I was in shock after, because I found out I definitely needed that brain scan.
“It was all quite quick – they weren’t sure what was on the brain at first. It was all up in the air.
“I can’t believe I went through that. We were just waiting for the doctors to tell us the outcome. It was challenging, but more so looking back on it now. At the time, you don’t know the outcome.”
Claudia was experiencing symptoms of confusion, hallucinations and fatigue. But doctors put it down to what they thought to be gastroenteritis. After discovering the tumour, Claudia had to then undergo an eight-hour operation.
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story. She said: “I was asleep all the time. My friends would call me lazy. I thought it was because I was working long hours.
“I walked into a window thinking it was a door. I spent a night in bed with my mum and dad because I was hallucinating.”
Claudia is now training to be a paediatrician, to give people the same level of care. After the difficulty she had in getting diagnosed, Claudia has decided she does not want the same mistakes to happen to someone else.
Claudia said: “We need everybody to understand the difficulty of getting that diagnosis. It took me over nine times to get that diagnosis. I went to opticians, GP and A&E just to push to say ‘I really don’t think something is right here’.
“I want to see some changes, some research, funding into brain tumours. 1% of cancer research goes into brain tumours.”
The NHS lists the symptoms of a brain tumour as:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness.
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality.
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
- vision or speech problems.