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Half of Suffolk secondary schools running Y6 summer schools

Around half of Suffolk's secondary schools are running summer schools to help youngsters moving up from Year 6, education chiefs have said.

Plans for summer schools were first raised last year after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted pupils' schooling across the country, with Department for Education research from last autumn indicating that pupils from Years 3-9 were up to two months behind on reading progress and three months behind on maths.

DfE funding has been made available for summer schools in the six week break.

According to Suffolk County Council, around half of the county's secondary schools are running classes for around a week or a week-and-a-half, and most are focused on transition work for Year 6 pupils as they make the step up to secondary.

Most have opted to hold them this week and next week, rather than at the end of the holidays.

Adrian Orr, assistant director for education and learning at Suffolk County Council, said: "At secondary, about half - 22 or 23 - maybe slightly more than that, are running summer schools for either a week or a week-and-a-half using money the DfE provided with a view to giving Year 6 a chance to engage with their new school before September.

Adrian Orr (49508269)
Adrian Orr (49508269)

"Pretty well everybody opted to do them this week and next week, and I think by the time we get into two weeks time they will all have finished. That very much has been about ensuring staff get appropriate breaks.

"From what I see and hear in conversations with school leaders across Suffolk, there will be components of learning around literacy and numeracy, but they are wrapped up probably in slightly different activities to give children an opportunity to see a new school, to engage in a different way.

"There will be a rich mix of stuff - sporting activities, leisure activities and some learning, all wrapped up in quite a fun and engaging programme, with a driving factor being supporting those young people feel really positive about their start at a new school in September."

Covid-19 protocols will remain in place in those summer schools to ensure youngsters and staff can work safely, with more Government advice expected over the break ahead of the full return in September.

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