A new report published by the Department for Education assesses the first year of their Summer Schools programme for disadvantaged pupils. The programme aims to help children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and looked-after children make the transition from primary to secondary school. In 2012, 1,776 Summer Schools were held across England.
A total of 9,682 pupils from treatment schools (that ran summer schools for disadvantaged pupils) and 11,383 pupils from comparison schools completed a survey when they started secondary school, and the authors also used data from the National Pupil Database (NPD). The results were broadly supportive of the Summer School programme and are consistent with a small positive effect on transition to secondary school, especially for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds (especially those eligible for FSM) had significantly lower levels of confidence, socialisation, and school readiness than their peers. Attending a Summer School was related to more positive attitudes (for confidence, socialisation, and school readiness); however, these should be viewed as “associations” rather than causal links.
Source: The Impact of the Summer Schools Programme on Pupils: Research Report (2013), Department for Education