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DfE Summer School Guidance announced

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

The arts are included in new government funding for secondary schools to run summer programmes.

Summer School Guidance

On 30 March 2-21 the Department for Education (DfE) published Summer Schools Guidance which is part of a new school funding package for children. As part of this guidance, it states that summer schools should:

‘include enrichment activities, such as team games, music, drama or sports activities.’

This provides schools and local arts organisations with a fantastic opportunity to provide enriching and engaging summer programmes for children, with a focus on primary pupils transitioning to year 7.


This funding is only available to secondary schools, and is calculated on the school’s existing year 7 cohort. Schools can receive a daily rate per student, with the option of either 50% of their year 7 students participating in a two-week programme, or 100% of students participating in week-long programme.

‘The daily rate for a pupil place is £59.70. Schools will receive the full per-pupil daily rate for any pupil for whom a place was delivered in line with this guidance.’

The funding equates to £597 per two-week place, rising to £1,791 per place for pupils in special schools, special units within mainstream schools, and in alternative provision.

This funding must be used for programmes run during the school holdidays, with schools choosing either a one or two-week programme. The funding can cover the activities and associated costs, such as transport, food, and hiring spaces if it is not possible to use school venues, along with teacher costs and other support staff for the delivery of the programme.

‘Schools can work with other organisations and institutions to run their summer school, including those in the private and voluntary sectors. The school should ensure that its staff members are involved in the summer school design’

Working with arts organisations to deliver summer schools

Of important note to arts organisations, the guidance gives schools clear permission to work with local arts and cultural organisations to deliver their summer schools:

‘Partner organisations can play a key role, ranging from providing arts, media and sports expertise to managing summer schools.’

and encourages them to consider how the arts can form part of the enrichment activities:

‘Schools could consider working with any local cultural provision, for example working with their local library on reading events, or organising visits to local museums or galleries.’

Theatre Workout Academy Summer Schools

Theatre Workout has been running summer schools since 2008 in the heart of London's West End and we've collaborated with leading summer school providers such as Oxford Royale Academy and Thames Valley Summer Schools.

We focus on creating performances where students take the lead, giving them ownership of the creative process to build their confidence along the way.

Our programmes can be replicated and delivered in schools across the UK, using drama to build confidence, creativity, communication skills, build friendships, and introduce new students in a positive and engaging way.

Schools need to opt in to summer school funding

Qualifying schools MUST register for fuding by the end of April. The online registration form will be made available via schools’ existing DfE sign-in after the Easter holiday.

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