Schools and colleges facing the greatest combined staffing and funding pressures will be able to claim via a new short-term Covid workforce fund, as part of the government’s national priority of keeping education settings open. The Government has announced a new source of funding for schools to help them stay open and fully staffed during the pandemic.
Announced on Friday 27th November, the fund, which will be backdated to 1st November, covers the current half-term. It is designed for schools, colleges and Alternative Provisions facing significant funding pressure. It will cover the costs of high levels of staff absence to help ensure they can remain open.
This funding recognises the challenges schools have faced throughout the pandemic to maintain high quality education and support for their pupils. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Schools and colleges will be able to reclaim costs incurred over the course of the current half-term, if they meet the following conditions:
Financial: Schools will first need to use any existing financial reserves, as they would typically expect when facing unforeseen costs. Schools will be eligible for this additional funding once they have used these down to a level at 4% of the annual income.
Absence rates: Mainstream schools will be eligible if they are experiencing a short-term teacher absence rate at or above 20%, and/or a lower long-term teacher absence rate at or above 10%. For special schools and Alternative Provision schools a short-term teacher absence rate at or above 15%, and/or a lower long-term teacher absence rate at or above 10%, to be eligible.
Schools can and are already taking a number of steps to manage staff absences using their existing staff and resources. For all teacher absences claimed at or above these levels, schools will therefore need to certify that they have first tried appropriate staffing mitigations as set out in Guidance for full opening: schools, and that claims are necessary in keeping their school open.
The Education Network will provide schools with all the information they need to process any claims for this funding.
Schools across England are benefiting from The Education Network’s Covid Secure staffing measures. Teachers and learning support staff must self-certify that they are symptom free and not isolating. This self-certification is completed on a weekly basis before they are permitted to attend any school.
Contact your local branch for more information.