The education gap continues to grow as online learning becomes the norm
As many classrooms stand empty some people are trying to spread the word of the damage the pandemic is causing for education.
Schools have been forced to close their doors once again, leaving millions of children across the country to face learning from home. The Education Policy Institute (EPI) found that the education gap was widening over the pandemic. With disadvantaged pupils, on average, 18 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSE’s. This figure accounts for the quality of learning before the pandemic; the pandemic has exacerbated these existing inequalities.
The gap refers to differing school resources during remote learning. Sam Tuckett, a senior researcher at the Institute says the first lockdown widened this gap as it showed that poorer children were less likely to have access to a digital device or have a quiet place to study.
He said: “The difference in resources available to disadvantaged children and the hours of homeschool they will get will often impact their overall education disproportionately.”
Research conducted by the EPI found that the education gap – also known as the attainment gap – was smaller in London and parts of the South East. A report on the research concluded that the gap for the most persistently disadvantaged pupils, already twice the size of the gap for the least persistently poor pupils, has increased in every year but one since 2014. This suggested that progress in closing the gap has not trickled down to the most persistently poor pupils.
Some schools have adapted well to the changes that come with online learning. Glyn Bishop, a headteacher at a primary school in West Yorkshire, believes that it has improved the quality of learning and plans to continue using it, even when children are back in the classroom.
One initiative is seeking to close the education gap. Close The Lockdown Gap has an aim to provide 100,000 hours of free education to those who feel they would find it useful. It connects uni students, teachers and professors with students to offer tutoring during lockdown. The initiative, set up by brother Mustafaen and Arsalan Kamal, was set up in response to the struggling education sector apparent during the pandemic.
Invicta News interviewed co-founder Mustafaen Kamal to talk about the organisation of the idea and how it came about. He said that the 100,000 hours is an ambition but the focus of the initiative is to do “as much as possible in a targeted way”.
He continued: “Our most in demand subject is Chemistry – but our offering is all subjects to all secondary year groups.”
To hear more about Close the Lockdown Gap listen below:
To take part in Close the Lockdown Gap visit closethelockdowngap.com