October 2020

College students resitting GCSE maths and English to benefit from new COVID funding support

By Melanie Hall

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Teenagers striving to achieve a good pass in their English and maths GCSEs while studying for their college qualification at University College Birmingham are to benefit from new COVID-19 funding support.

The University has chosen to use its 16-19 tuition fund – a one-year additional funding allocated to schools and colleges to mitigate disruption to learning from coronavirus – to further support students who still need to achieve a grade 4. 

Specifically, the University – which specialises in both further and higher education – will use the money from the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to employ intervention tutors specialising in these two key subjects.  

They will provide additional face-to-face, small group tuition, which will cover GCSE maths and English qualifications, but also City & Guilds Functional Skills to ensure all students who have not yet achieved a grade 4 are supported in the skills they need to succeed.  

Nikki Brady, Executive Director for Academic Quality in Further Education at University College Birmingham, said: “Due to COVID-19, national provision for maths and English has been significantly impacted, leaving large gaps in student knowledge and attainment.  

“Our opportunities for face-to-face delivery have reduced, resulting in a blended learning model. We recognise that this method of learning may not be readily accessible to all students and understand that for those who experience barriers to achieving GCSE maths and/or English, face-to-face and focused delivery methods may be the most beneficial.  

“We believe that this support will enhance our provision for students who have been disadvantaged by COVID-19 and, as a result, have not achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths/English.” 

Tuition groups will have no more than five students and sessions will be scheduled in addition to the planned programme of study hours already timetabled for the academic year 2020/21.

The additional support will be mandatory for all students undertaking GCSE/Functional Skills during 2020/21 and will be scheduled as registered sessions, counting towards overall attendance rates. This additional tuition will comprise one additional hour per subject of face-to-face delivery for all students undertaking GCSE and/or Functional Skills.  

Find out more about support with maths and English GCSEs and Functional Skills at University College Birmingham.  

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