Playing Catch-up: Helping Learners Achieve

Thursday 3rd June 2021


  • #UKEdChat session 555
  • The Covid pandemic has largely impacted the same group of learners who were behind already.
  • Teachers need to try to address the gap in learning caused by systemic failures highlighted by the pandemic.
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.

With the resignation of Sir Kevan Collins, the English Government’s Catch-up tsar over inadequate funding to tackle the damage left in the wake of the Coronavirus, it seems that teachers are once again largely on their own.

The Covid pandemic has largely impacted the same group of learners who found themselves behind the average member of their national peer group, along with inequality lines. While not exclusively, poor access to digital technology, a stable Internet connection, and/or available parental support, which often signal lower financial means, have been major factors in pupils falling behind.

So, what can be done, and what shouldn’t be done?

Schools now need to look carefully at how limited resources are allocated to reflect the particular needs of those who have fallen behind (’twas ever thus). A cultural shift needs to happen to help those whose lives will be seriously impacted by the pandemic, not just those who are at a particular exam grade boundary.

Like so many aspects of life, the pandemic showed that the impossible is not just possible, but essential over the course of the year. It has offered society an opportunity to reset and tackle so many of the systemic problems facing many countries. Now the action needs to match the rhetoric.

In the meantime, teachers need to address the gap in learning caused by systemic failures highlighted by the pandemic. With limited funds and support, what can teachers and schools do on the ground?

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 8pm(UK) we discussed what practical measures teachers can take in their classrooms, what not to do, what support is needed, what the long-term effect of this episode is likely to be, and what lessons can be learnt about measures to catch-up going forward?

Questions

  1. Have you observed a gap in learning over the course of the past year because of the pandemic?
  2. What extra measures can be taken in your subject or age-group to inability those who have fallen behind to catch-up?
  3. What shouldn’t be done in an attempt to help learners catch-up?
  4. What can be done at the whole school level to assist learners to catch-up?
  5. What additional resources would you need to enable learners in your class to catch-up with their ‘average’ peer?
  6. What support do you need from @educationgovuk to enable learners who have fallen behind over the past year to catch-up?
  7. What impact do you think the attainment gap caused by the pandemic will have over the long term?
  8. Now that @10DowningStreet is looking for a new catch-up tzar, what would you do in the role?

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About @ICTmagic 737 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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