State school pupils are twice as likely to feel behind on their learning than private school pupils, according to a landmark survey into the impact of the Covid pandemic on education. The study follows thousands of students through education to assess the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic and differences between state and private school pupils.
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Headteachers said the research was “deeply worrying” and showed how students were still affected by the disruption they had experienced.
The findings come as schools across the country prepare to reopen after a two-week Easter break.
Many pupils have been learning remotely since January when schools in England were closed as part of national lockdown measures.
Although some schools can offer face-to-face teaching for some pupils, many students have been learning remotely throughout the pandemic.
The Institute of Education at University College London study found that state school pupils were twice as likely as private school pupils to say they fell behind in their learning (40% compared to 20%).
Private school pupils were also more likely to say they had enjoyed remote learning, with nearly half (45%) saying it was “good” or “very good”, compared to just over a quarter (28%) of state school pupils.
Headteachers said the findings showed the “ongoing impact” of the pandemic on students.
“This research is deeply worrying and confirms what we have been saying for some time – that the pandemic is having a profound and long-lasting impact on our young people,” said Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.
“It is clear that many students are struggling to catch up on their learning after a year of disruption. This is particularly apparent among disadvantaged students who attend state schools.
“The government must do more to support these students through targeted interventions such as one-to-one tuition and small group teaching.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We recognise the challenges this pandemic has presented for everyone, especially young people. We are investing £1.7 billion to help all pupils catch up, including the most disadvantaged.
“This funding will pay for tutoring – the most effective way to boost attainment – for around 700,000 of our most vulnerable children and young people.
“In addition, all schools will receive a minimum of £3,600 per pupil next year, with those in disadvantaged areas receiving up to £6,720 per pupil. This will help schools close the gap between their most disadvantaged pupils and their peers.”
What do you think the government should do to support students who arestruggling to catch up on their learning? Let us know in the comments below.