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Meeting at Catch Up®

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with David Johnston MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Families and Wellbeing.

Four members of the Catch Up® team met with David Johnston MP on 30th January to discuss ways in which greater awareness of the Catch Up® interventions could be made to the looked after children sector, including those in kinship care.

The minister who wrote the foreword to the government’s Championing Kinship Care – The National Kinship Care Strategy, which was published in December 2023 advocates the strengthening of the Virtual School Head’s role to promote the education of children in kinship care.

Catch Up® has recently been working with What Works for Children’s Social Care and the Norfolk Virtual School developing ways in which its interventions can be adapted to assist those responsible for the wellbeing of children in their care.  The positive feedback from those receiving the Catch Up® Literacy intervention training has given Catch Up® the desire to work with other Virtual Schools across the UK.  It is hoped that as a result of the meeting, Catch Up® can develop further links with other Virtual Schools and assist struggling learners in order to reduce the attainment gap.

Further discussions were had about a recent project with Early Years Foundation Stage pupils funded by the Mercers Company.

Catch Up Interventions

The Catch Up® project began in 1998 and over a 10-year period a comprehensive literacy package was developed and launched as Catch Up® Literacy in 2007.  Catch Up® Numeracy followed in 2008.  Findings demonstrate that Catch Up® users achieve more than double the progress of typically developing learners.

Over 35,000 supporting adults have now been trained and it is estimated over half a million struggling learners have benefitted from receiving the Catch Up® interventions.


The meeting was arranged by former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, MP for South-West Norfolk following her recent visit to the charity, whose office is in her constituency.

The former Prime Minister said;

“It’s really important that children have the literacy and numeracy skills to get on in life.

“It was good to discuss how Catch Up can help those in foster and kinship care with the Minister.

“I’m very proud that Catch Up® are based in Thetford.”


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