Research by UCL Institute of Education has found that 2.3 million children in the UK have completed little or no schoolwork at home during the coronavirus lockdown. The newly published data shows that around one in five pupils have done less than an hour’s work a day, or none at all, since schools closed in March.
This research has prompted concerns about the wider impact of coronavirus on children’s’ education to grow. Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Education Select Committee, said these findings were ‘grim’. He warned of a ‘potential Ice Age’ for UK school-children over fears that their educational progress and social development has been severely impacted since lockdown was announced in March.
However, the UCL study also shows that 17 per cent of children have put in more than four hours of schoolwork a day – therefore putting them well ahead in their learning over some of their less studious peers. This ever-increasing attainment gap will be challenging for pupils and teachers when schools eventually reopen for all children.
Boris Johnson has promised a ‘huge amount’ of school catch-up initiatives for the summer, but details are yet to be announced.