Summer Education will once again be available during summer holidays, with a number of key updates to the scheme. Summer Education, previously known as July Provision, supports pupils with additional needs to re-engage with their education during the summer months and ensure they are prepared for September.
The theme for this year’s programme is ‘Building Confidence and Connections’. As in previous years, the Summer Education Programme for 2023 consists of both in-school and home-based education, but with a number of adjustments. Where in-school support was once divided into the ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Special Class’ programmes, primary school students in special classes or students with complex support needs in mainstream classes can both apply for in-school provision through the Primary School Scheme. As before, there are expanded literacy and numeracy summer camps for DEIS schools, available to all schools in the DEIS scheme including those who received DEIS status in 2022.
For 2023, it is a priority that more children in special schools have access to a school-based programme. For this reason, the department has introduced the Special School Pilot Scheme. This scheme can run for two to five weeks at any time during summer holidays rather than just July. The length of the school day will be 10am-2pm but the same daily rate will be paid to staff taking part. For the first time, when a child’s special school is not running a school-based programme, a portal will be available to allow parents to register their child’s details. This means if a place in another location becomes available the child’s participation in an education programme can be organised.
As in previous years, students with complex needs who cannot access in-school provision are also eligible for home-based tuition. All autistic students continue to qualify for home-based tuition. However, some changes have been made. While home-based provision has traditionally been a 1:1 activity, the department is allowing a Small Group Arrangement whereby individual registered teachers can deliver a programme for students in a group of up to three.
For more information about Summer Education 2023 and how to apply check our explainer here