Funding to help Schools Boost Early Language Skills

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Interim Senior Advisory Teacher EYFS & EYFS Moderation Manager, Sharon Rose on behalf of the DfE. This is for the attention of Early Years professionals.

The Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford, has announced up to £9 million is available for the reception year early language programme, Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) as part of the National Tutoring Programme in academic year 2020 to 2021. This is to enable schools to support five-year-olds whose spoken language skills may have suffered as a result of the pandemic. 

NELI is a high-quality, evidence-based, 20-week intervention designed to improve the language skills of nursery and reception age pupils.  A recent trial of the programme found that children made on average three months of additional progress compared to children in the comparison group.

The oral language intervention programme focuses on developing vocabulary knowledge, narrative and active listening through the delivery of one-to-one and small group sessions by a trained staff member. The resources and training for a TA and teacher are included as part of the programme.

All state funded schools with a reception class can apply but places are limited. If places are over-subscribed, schools will be prioritised based on their percentage of free school meals (FSM) eligibility. Schools can register their interest using this Application Form.

Please note to register you interest you must complete your application by 30th October 2020. Participating schools will receive resources and will be able to access online training from the start of the spring term 2021.