Education Business 26.03

Education Business 26.03

Playing catch-up

A study by the Education Endowment Foundation has found that the attainment gap between disadvantaged primary school pupils and their classmates in maths has grown by one month since the onset of the pandemic.

The study also shows that the attainment gap did not widen or shrink during the Autumn 2020 term when schools were open, suggesting that gaps caused by Covid are unlikely to close without intervention.

The government has outlined what it believes this intervention should be, and has acknowledged that catch-up measures need to focus on long-term recovery, as well as the here and now. Tutoring, summer schools, and free teaching resources make up part of the plan, and Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as Education Recovery Commissioner to oversee the education catch-up programme, and take a longer term view.

Staying on the theme of long-term education recovery, a new study, called COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities (COSMO), will follow the outcomes of year 11 students across England to find out how the pandemic has affected them in terms of educational attainment, wellbeing, longer-term educational and career outcomes, and socio-economic inequalities in life chances.

Page 15 of this issue of Education Business takes an in-depth look at the government’s catch-up support plan, while page 47 focuses on how education technology can help pupils recover lost learning. Page 60 meanwhile outlines how play can reduce the negative impact school closures had on pupils, and how it should not be sacrificed due to pressure to increase classroom time.

Angela Pisanu, editor

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