Hundreds of faculties to profit from covid early years assist
Over 6,500 schools have signed up for an early language improvement program for receiving-age children that has trained more than 22,000 employees.
The multi-million pound catch-up program is designed to improve the language and language skills of young students whose communications may have suffered from missed education during the pandemic.
Interest in the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) has exceeded its original goals of involving a quarter of primary schools in England. 33% have already successfully registered. The program now aims to reach around 40% of primary schools this school year, supported by an investment of £ 9 million. It is aimed at those students who need help most, with places being assigned to schools in priority order based on the proportion of disadvantaged students who are eligible for free school meals.
Pre-Reception Children will also benefit from improved support as the Department of Education’s £ 20 million Professional Development Program (EYPDP) moves into phase two, putting in around 400 newly trained early years champions who have already been trained Share skills, knowledge and behaviors with other staff in 51 local authorities to encourage children’s development in early language, literacy and math.
Child and Family Minister Vicky Ford said:
No child should be left behind due to lost learning time, especially in the crucial early years of their education. I am delighted that thousands of schools are joining this support package to help our youngest children get back on track.
We want every child to thrive in school. It is therefore important that we provide additional support during this challenging time to equip them with the vital early language skills that will enable them to express themselves clearly and effectively.
The Nuffield Early Language Intervention will be conducted as a 20-week intervention for students from February 2020. Schools receive free training and resources to help them provide individual and small group support for five-year-olds whose early development of spoken language skills was disrupted by Covid-19.
The investment is part of the National Tutoring Program, a key part of the government’s £ 1bn Covid catch-up package announced in June to directly address the impact of lost teaching time.
Josh Hillman, director of education for the Nuffield Foundation, said:
The fact that a third of primary schools in England have already participated in the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) shows the significant demand for a program to assist disadvantaged children in their language skills, especially given the learning lost due to COVID-19.
After supporting the development and testing of NELI to prove its effectiveness, we are pleased that the DfE has increased its target for the number of participating schools. Even more of the most disadvantaged children will be able to acquire the basics of literacy and learning in this challenging school year.
In addition to the Nuffield program, the department has also confirmed that around 400 practitioners received high quality training at a young age to demonstrate their skills in support of early language, literacy and math development of toddlers in 51 local authorities as part of their program Improving professional development at a young age, first started in 2018.
The professional development program is led by the Education Development Trust, which has designed the program to enable large numbers of practitioners to learn and share excellent practices in the early years of language and reading and writing skills development .
The drive to help people acquire professional skills is based on last week’s announcement that as of April 2021, the government will fully fund nearly 400 courses for adults without full Level 3 (A-level equivalent) courses, including childcare and early intervention courses for those entering or seeking further training in the early years of the sector.
During the pandemic, the government provided significant financial support to provide stability and security to the sector for the first few years – including paying local authorities for the fall semester for childcare at the level we would have funded before the coronavirus – regardless of how many children are present.
Following the expansion of the coronavirus job retention program, employees at a young age will continue to be entitled to access as they have been since it was launched. The Job Support Scheme has been postponed until the vacation program ends. Working parents who participate in these programs are still entitled to childcare, including the 30-hour offer and tax-free childcare, even if their income level falls below the minimum threshold.
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