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As well as the obvious impact on the economy and health of the nation, one factor that is often overlooked is the education of our future generation. With schools intermittently closed, temporary remote learning solutions and disengaged pupils, it’s clear that education has taken a hit and action against the growing gap in attainment needs to be taken.
A combination of parents having to adapt to homeschooling at speed, makeshift equipment and in some cases, parents being unable to fund a computer with internet access, meant that some pupils across the UK were unable to do the virtual work they were set when schools were closed, resulting in a delayed delivery of curriculum.
These were just some of the issues outlined in Ofsted’s recent report, as it warned the scale of lost learning caused by Covid-19 will be 'significant'.
The watchdog said in its annual report it is still too soon to know how much damage has been done by the coronavirus crisis to the education of the nation's children.
As part of the research, The Chief Inspector of Education and Children’s Social Care has warned that the invisibility of vulnerable children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a matter of national concern.
Teachers are often the eyes that spot signs of abuse and the ears that hear stories of neglect. Closing schools didn’t just leave the children who - unbeknown to others - suffer at home without respite, it also took them out of sight of those who could help.
Reinforcing the issue of the impact that Covid has had on education over the past few months, further insight provided by Ofsted revealed that across all age groups, children with SEND have been seriously affected in both their care and education, as the services that families relied on – particularly speech and language services – were unavailable.
Back in September, following the first wave of coronavirus, the National Foundation for Educational Research investigated whether a gap in attainment could be attributed to family wealth and living conditions. It was discovered that the learning gap between rich and poor pupils grew by almost half between March and July.
Almost all (98%) of the 3,000 teachers questioned by the foundation admitted that their pupils were behind the place in the curriculum they would normally expect for the time of year. With the sample surveyed revealing that they had covered just 66% of their usual curriculum by July, this meant that pupils were estimated at three months behind in their learning due to no fault of their own.
The impact of coronavirus in UK schools has seen some teachers report that the gap in attainment for disadvantaged students has increased by 46%. With some schools reporting that they are nearly four months behind in education.
Set up as part of the government's £1 billion funding package to close the attainment gap for pupils impacted by school closures owing to Covid-19, the National Tutoring Programme is designed to offer schools the opportunity to access discounted programmes of tuition through approved tuition partners.
This catch-up tuition funding is in addition to the pupil premium and pupil premium plus funding, which schools may already be accessing to provide additional support to pupils who require it.
Having already delivered in excess of one million sessions of 1:1 support, and being an approved NTP tuition partner, at Randstad we are ready to help your pupils rediscover their love for learning and help them realise their true potential through our specialist, qualified tutors.
How can you benefit?
- 75% is funded by the National Tutoring Programme
- 15 hour blocks of tuition can be accessed by pupils
- Requests are made via a secure online referral portal
- Tuition available on a 1:1 and 1:3 basis
- A dedicated schools partnerships manager will be assigned to be your single point of contact
- Face-to-face or online support is provided