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The home schooling quagmire: it’s about more than laptops

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 May 2020

Jennie Golding.

The move to ‘home schooling’ has, quite rightly, triggered a storm of commentaries about how the gap between the disadvantaged and the middle class will widen.

Last week the House of Commons Education Select Committee conducted a session on the impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services. Several MPs, particularly from more economically challenged northern constituencies, expressed their fears about inequity of access to education during school closures. The answer to many of their questions was ‘We don’t yet know’ – whether there is a correlation between pupils’ time studying and their socioeconomic position, how many disadvantaged learners are not eligible for free laptops – or when and how schools will re-open to more young people.

Committee chair Robert Halfon warned that the UK could be facing a ‘wave of educational poverty’ as a result of the lockdown – and of course there is a moral imperative to prioritise the needs of those who are already disadvantaged. However, emerging evidence suggests the picture is complex, and there are serious challenges across all social groups.

My own current research with primary schools and A Level providers has serendipitously (more…)

Educating young children at home: key lessons from research

Blog Editor, IOE Digital1 April 2020

Clare Brooks, Eleanor Kitto and Carole Scott.

The closure of schools and early years settings to all except for the children of key workers will have a profound impact on all parents, particularly those with young children. 

Without adequate data as to how schools and settings are responding, and in particular how they are planning to support families with children who are now mainly kept at home, it is nearly impossible to say what the impact will be on children and their achievement. 

However, the findings of the large-scale and highly detailed Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project do provide some valuable insights into the importance of early experiences which suggest what the impact on young children could (more…)