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Students 3 Months Behind In Studies After Lockdown, Survey Finds

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A random study conducted among teachers in England found that their students have fallen back in their studies by three months during coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Nearly all teachers who took part in a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).reported that their pupils were behind where they would normally expect them to be in their curriculum learning.

Boys have fallen further behind normal expectations than girls. Economically weaker pupils were the worst hit.

In July, teachers had covered, on average, only 66 per cent of the usual curriculum during the 2019-20 academic year.

The quality of in-school teaching was impacted by the pandemic, highlighting the challenges that schools, teachers and pupils will face as they open fully.

Almost three quarters of teachers feel they were not able to teach to their usual standard online. In an open response questions, almost half said that distancing requirements had negatively impacted their teaching practices.

Pupil and parental engagement with remote learning remained low during July, while attendance was low.

Jointly funded by Nuffield Foundation and NFER, the study is based on surveying 3,000 school leaders and teachers across over 2,200 mainstream schools in England. The report focuses on new data collected towards the end of the last academic year, i.e., July, showing the changing nature and concerns resulted by the pandemic on the academic community as schools in England are set to reopen this month.

Teachers estimate that almost half of their students are in need of intensive catch-up support, but with schools balancing education with social distancing, a quick catch-up is unlikely, the 72-page report warned.

In case of further outbreaks of Covid-19 and local lockdowns, there needs to be enhanced plans for interactive remote learning and IT equipment for pupils and staff, the survey has suggested.

The report outlines a series of recommendations, which includes: the need for increased parental reassurance; support for schools in managing non-attendance; additional resources for costs associated with managing the demands of Covid-19; and schools needing more government support to prepare for remote learning in a local lockdown.

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