English students lag behind their peers after lockdown, according to Watchdog

Underprivileged schoolchildren in the UK are falling behind their peers due to the lingering impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a new report.

The National Audit Office (NAO) says the loss of learning opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds is not only “consistently high”, but if left unaddressed will lead to “increased disadvantage and significant income loss”. I have discovered that it is possible.

The achievement gap has widened in the UK since 2019, despite government efforts to help children catch up on learning lost in lockdown, according to the NAO.

Investigation result (pdf), announced Wednesday, calling on governments to take action to improve the education recovery.

Molly Kingsley, co-founder of parent campaign group UsForThem, told The Epoch Times:

“The King of Restoration, Sir Kevin Collins, was appointed to assess the cost of a suitable restoration package, which was £15 billion.

“After a few years, we are in a position where only a fraction of that is offered.

“So no one should be surprised that recovery programs are failing, and that more and more disadvantaged children are being left behind.

“It really stresses that the government and unions must get children back to school.”

The NAO report ‘Recovery of education in schools in England’ shows the variability in the extent and speed of recovery of student learning from lockdown.

A Department of Education (DfE) study showed that by the summer of 2021, “learning losses for most students have decreased.”

On average, students were 2.2, 0.9 and 1.2 months behind expected achievement levels in primary math, primary reading and secondary reading, respectively, compared to 3.6, 1.8 and 1.5 months in fall 2020.

However, the 2022 Grade 6 major Stage 2 test showed a “significant” reduction in achievement compared to pre-pandemic.

Missing future earnings

Up from 65% in 2019, 59% of students achieved the expected DfE standards in all aspects of reading, writing and mathematics.

The disadvantaged gap index, a measure of the difference in performance between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students, was 3.23 in 2022 compared to 2.91 in 2019 at the end of primary school.

An index score of 0 indicates no adverse gaps.

If left unaddressed, lost learning “can lead to magnified disadvantage for affected people and significant loss of future income,” NAO said.

The oversight body recommended that the DfE “further develop an approach to monitoring student progress towards achieving goals and report on progress on a regular basis.”

The report added: “Given the DfE’s goal to integrate tutoring into the school system, the DfE will seek to assess whether tutoring in schools is financially sustainable, with the NTP subsidy and the 2023/24 The impact of withdrawal of the recovery premium also needs to be modeled.”

A disadvantaged student is a student who has been eligible for free school meals at any time during the past six years and may include students who have been protected by local authorities.

school pupil pupil united kingdom uk mask
Grade 8 students attending English classes at Park Lane Academy in Halifax, North West England on 4 January 2022 will wear face masks or covers. (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

An Ongoing Obligation to Children

In 2021-2022, nearly half of the students receiving tutoring under the government’s flagship National Tutoring Program (NTP) aim to help them catch up on learning they’ve missed during the pandemic. is.

According to the report, 51% of students receiving tutoring through education partner schemes are disadvantaged, falling short of DfE’s plan target of 65% and receiving school-led tutoring Forty-seven percent of students are disadvantaged.

Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said following the findings: Pandemic.

“The long-term costs of not doing so are enormous for our students and the broader society. DfE has an ongoing obligation to children who continue to pay the price without access to education.”

In a statement released Wednesday, a DfE spokesperson acknowledged that “more needs to be done” to close the adverse gap in education.

“Nearly 3 million courses have been launched through the National Tutoring Programme, revolutionizing the way schools provide targeted support,” the spokesperson said.

“And while we are pleased that today’s findings show that children are making progress, there is still work to be done, including working to close the gaps in achieving shortcomings. I know there is.”

The ministry said it plans to invest more than £5 billion in student premium funds over the next two years to improve the performance of disadvantaged students across England.

“This is in addition to continued additional recovery premium funding that has nearly doubled in secondary schools this year.”

Pandemic impact on schools

Findings from a report on the continued impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on school children show NHS figures show that more than 1 million children needed serious mental health treatment during the pandemic. It came out less than a month after it was revealed.

NHS mental health treatment referrals for under-18s increased by 39% in one year to reach 1,169,515 from 2021 to 2022, according to data analyzed by the PA news agency.

This jumped from 839,570 in 2020 to 2021.

In August, DfE figures revealed that about 13,000 children were excluded from school for failing to follow COVID-19 rules in the 2020-2021 school year.

In the UK, a total of 12,965 students were expelled from school for “deliberate and repeated breaches of protective measures”.

PA contributed to this report.