This is likely to be exacerbated for those pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who, prior to the health emergency, were already experiencing barriers to education due a range of different factors. Some pupils will have engaged well with remote learning activities, whereas others may have returned to school disengaged and require support with learning.
Schools therefore need additional resource to ensure that their pupils can receive the support they need and the Engage programme provides all primary and post primary schools with access to extra teaching resource in 2020/21.
The aim of the Engage Programme is to limit any long-term adverse impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on educational standards by supporting pupils’ learning and engagement on their return to school through provision of high quality one to one, small group or team teaching support in every school in Northern Ireland.
Guidance on the Engage Programme is available on the Department's website at Guidance on the Engage Programme for Schools
Arrangements following announcement of 5 January 2021
Further guidance on the Engage programme has been developed to assist schools following the announcement on 5 January 2021 that schools would be required to provide remote learning until the mid-term break in February available at Engage FAQs.
Engage funding allocations
The level of funding due to schools has been determined according to assessed levels of disadvantage and number of pupils enrolled. More detail on this is set out in the programme guidance above.
A list of individual funding allocations to primary and post-primary schools for the period September 2020 to March 2021 is available on the Department's website at Engage Programme school allocations (Sept 2020 to Mar 2021) .
A list of individual funding allocations to primary and post-primary schools for the period April 2021 to June 2021 is available on the Department's website at Engage Programme school allocations (April 2021 to June 2021)”.
All Primary and Post-Primary schools receiving Engage funding will be required to use the online “Engage Planner” to capture a range of key information on delivery of the programme. It is designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible.
The Engage Planner will allow the Department to –
- better understand how schools are using Engage funding,
- illustrate the range of interventions and support being offered, and
- demonstrate the positive impact those resources are having on children and young people.
The Engage Planner is now available for schools to access on the Wholeschool School Development Planning platform.
Further help and support on how to complete the Engage Planner, including an instructional video, is available on the application itself which schools can access via the icon on the My School dashboard on C2k.
Further Help and Support
Ongoing advice and support is available for schools in terms of managing and implementing the Engage programme. Section 6 of the above guidance document for schools includes a list of relevant contact details according to the nature of the enquiry.