The Welsh Government has today announced over £24m of additional funding to "support learners who have felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the most".
The funding includes:
£7.5m to support learners in exam years
£7m to support learners whose attendance has dropped during the pandemic
£9.5m to support FE and Sixth Form learners with transition to the next stage of their education or career.
£7.5m will be used to provide extra support for learners in exam years, with additional teaching time and learning resources. It will "help learners to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence, as well as supporting those who feel anxious about exams".
The funding will be weighted towards schools with greater numbers of learners who receive free school meals.
Over £7m will go towards supporting learners whose attendance has dropped during the pandemic. Dedicated support will be provided to support Year 11 pupils who have low attendance to complete their GCSEs or help them reach the next stage in their education or in starting a career, as well as support for pupils in other years. Funding will also be provided to support well-being and education for learners at Pupil Referrals Units.
£9.5m will be provided to further education colleges and sixth forms to support students with their transition into the next stage of their education or career and for activities such as open days and taster sessions for vocational careers.
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “We have prioritised education throughout the pandemic. But we know the pandemic has inevitably caused disruption, with evidence that certain learners, including those in exam years or from lower income backgrounds, have felt the impact most severely.
“We cannot allow the pandemic to throw any young person off course. This new funding will help ensure those who have been impacted the most are given the additional support they need to progress with confidence into the next stage of their lives.
“Our national mission is to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment and set high standards for all. We will do everything we can to ensure that all learners are on a level playing field and are able to reach their full potential.”