The education community and teachers came together to support Surrey children and parents during the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 and the resulting school closures. An incredible effort was made across the community to maintain education through home and blended learning wherever possible, but as children and young people return to school in September, it will be vital to assess and address the impact of school closures on the existing learning gap.
Research from the Education Endowment Foundation suggests that school closures were "likely to reverse progress made to close the gap in the last decade since 2011".
Whilst this report suggested that supporting remote learning could help to mitigate some of this damage, it explains that "sustained support will be needed to help disadvantaged pupils catch up".
A report from the National Foundation for Educational Research suggests that pupils are an estimated three months behind in their learning following the school closures, with "almost half of pupils" in need of "intensive catch-up support" with those from the most deprived backgrounds or highest proportions of pupils from BAME backgrounds "in greatest need"
Now, more than ever, it is key that we find ways to narrow the gap for Surrey learners and find a way to regain the losses in learning experienced during the pandemic and subsequent shut down.
The Department for Education has released guidance for identifying and addressing gaps in understanding following school closures. You can view this guidance here.
TES contributor and teacher Mark Enser has produced a short video detailing potential routes to address the COVID-19 gap. You can find this article here.
Please find at the links below further reports and discussions of what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the Disadvantaged Gap and vulnerable learners.
Evidence Based Literacy & Language Strategy for Disadvantaged Pupils - includes Recovery Fund from Schools Alliance for Excellence on Vimeo.
As a follow up to the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) Literacy Research Event on Tuesday 22nd September 2020, SAfE hosted this session which explored some case studies of good practice in Surrey Schools.
You can download the slides and supporting documents from this event at the link below:
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