Funding to support schools and colleges during pandemic

The Department for Education has announced a new short-term Covid workforce fund, as part of the government’s national priority of keeping education settings open.

The fund, which will be backdated to 1 November and cover the current half term, is designed for schools and colleges facing significant funding pressure, and will cover the costs of high levels of staff absences over a minimum threshold, to help ensure schools and colleges can remain open.

The government will continue to review the pressures schools and colleges are facing into next term, and continue to explore how mass testing can play a greater role in keeping them open in the new year for all pupils to attend full time.

An updated contingency framework for all education settings has also been published, outlining how the government would manage the exceptional circumstances in which further restrictions were required on education to help contain virus transmission within a community.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Keeping schools and colleges open is a national priority, which is why I am launching the Covid workforce fund, to support schools and colleges facing significant budget pressures and staff absences.

“This new funding comes on top of our funding for schools facing exceptional costs during the summer months, the £1 billion Covid catch up fund to help all children make up for lost learning, and the core school funding that is seeing the biggest increase in a decade. I know how hard school and college staff and leaders have worked over the past nine months, and I want to once again thank everyone working in education for going above and beyond while we continue to deal with the extra pressures caused by the pandemic.”

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