Pandemic remains key concern for educators – survey

A significant proportion of teaching staff expect pandemic-related disruption to be their biggest challenge this autumn term, according to research from Renaissance

Despite a lifting of most pandemic-related restrictions and the widespread resumption of face-to-face teaching, more than a quarter (27%) of teaching staff expect disruption by COVID-19 to be their biggest challenge this autumn term.

That’s according to a new survey by cloud-based learning programmes provider, Renaissance, which also found addressing the attainment gap arising from COVID-19 disruption (20%) and the mental health of pupils (14%) predicted to be significant challenges.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of those polled believe pupil attainment levels have fallen because of national lockdowns.

Four hundred and seventy-two senior school leaders, department heads, and teachers responded to researchers’ questions regarding their thoughts and concerns ahead of the new school term.

If there has been a positive side to the pandemic’s effects on teaching, it is to be found in the application of technology: 71% of teachers said their confidence in using edtech had grown in the last 18 months.

“We know teachers continue to face a wide range of challenges presented by COVID-19 in their classrooms,” said Renaissance director, John Moore. “Clearly, the attainment gap continues to be a concern.”

“However, there’s an opportunity, too, to take some real positives from the pandemic, building on the way in which so many teachers have embraced technology and worked tirelessly to upskill. As we move forward through the pandemic, it’s time teachers were able to focus on what they’re really there for – to educate pupils, guide their learning development and plan tailored programmes.”

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