Teaching Abroad Direct surveyed over 1,000 teachers across the UK to gain their thoughts on current government plans and actions to tackle the academic effects of COVID-19 and plans to get children back into classrooms.
The teachers shared some majority of concerns, namely:
- 38% of teachers believe pupils will be unable to catch up
- 60% of teachers believe the government has managed the education system ‘badly’ during the pandemic – with 24% saying ‘very badly’
- 57% of teachers believe the government’s actions have put students at a global disadvantage
- Just 1 in 10 teachers (11%) believe social distancing within schools can work
- 91% of teachers feel disparities between rich and poor students will deepen as a result of COVID-19
- Majority of teachers (70%) feel that all schools will return by September
- Teachers are in favour of free educational apps (71%) and more online classes (59%) being implemented to help students catch-up
However, (75%) agreed with the strategy to delay the reopening of schools, with almost half (47%) saying that they strongly agreed with the approach.
Unviable social distancing
Despite a majority negative sentiment towards the government’s handling of the crisis, 70% of teachers believe that all schools will reopen in September, but 89% said the social distancing measures would not be viable.
91% of teachers feel disparities between rich and poor students will deepen as a result of COVID-19
To help students catch up, 71% said free educational apps would be beneficial, 59% said online classes, while only 21% said a shorter summer holiday would help.
Teachers were asked which years they believed would be most adversely affected by COVID-19. Year 11 (58.3%), Year 10 (58%) and Year 6 (51.7%) were referenced the most.
Educational impact of COVID-19
Andrew Lynch, director of Teaching Abroad Direct, who undertook the research, commented: “Only time will reveal the educational impact of this pandemic, but it’s clear to see that the majority of teachers are extremely concerned overall, particularly with 91% expressing views that the growing divide between students is something that needs to be addressed.
With 57% of teachers stating that students are at a global disadvantage, an increase in teaching talent could be one of many ways the system recovers – Andrew Lynch, director, Teaching Abroad Direct
“Our research also shows 96% of teachers think some students won’t recover academically from the reopening delays, therefore, it’s clear that students need the announced £1bn funding more than ever. This can hopefully go a long way in resurrecting learning for those students who are slowly loosening their grip on academic success.
“On the other hand, recent research has shown that many are now considering teaching as a career after being forced to try it out at home. We are slowly seeing an increase in schools and applicants ourselves looking to fill teaching roles globally. Hopefully, we see a progressive increase in teaching talent that students can benefit in years to come.
“With 57% of teachers stating that students are at a global disadvantage, an increase in teaching talent could be one of many ways the system recovers.”
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