The government has extended its Covid workforce fund for schools and colleges again, this time until Easter.
The fund is to cover supply costs at schools and colleges facing “significant staffing and funding pressures”, so they can continue to “deliver face-to-face, high quality education to all pupils”.
Ministers initially re-launched the scheme in the autumn in response to rising staff absence rates, then extended it to February half term.
The DfE wrote to school and college leaders today, informing them the fund has now been extended for a second time, until Friday April 8.
In its email, the DfE said guidance on the fund would be updated later this week to reflect the extension, with the claims window due to open “in the spring”.
The fund had been reintroduced in November following the emergence of the Omicron variant. It was originally established in 2020 and provides supply funding for supply staff and to increase hours of part-time teachers.
The latest attendance data estimated that around 2.5 per cent of teachers and college leaders, as well as 1.9 per cent of teaching assistants and other staff were absent on February 3.