Education Endowment Foundation:EEF blog: Moving Forwards, Making a Difference

EEF blog: Moving Forwards, Making a Difference

Kirstin Mulholland
Kirstin Mulholland
Associate for school engagement and evidence use

The EEF’s Kirstin Mulholland introduces our new evidence review on the impact of Covid on learning and supportive guide for schools. 

Blog •2 minutes •

It is clear, both from the research and in talking to teachers and school leaders, that pupils continue to feel the effects of the partial school closures. Although national lockdowns seem to be behind us, for many schools, and in many classrooms, the full picture of how pupils and schools have really been affected is only now becoming clear.

Today, the EEF has released a brand-new evidence review which paints a clear picture of where pupils have fallen behind. In order to give school leaders guidance on what the evidence suggests schools can do in response to this challenge, in 2022 – 23 and beyond, a guide to support schools in moving forwards and making a positive difference to pupil outcomes has been released alongside.

The impact of COVID on learning: An evidence review

The Impact of Covid: An evidence review’ suggests that disadvantaged pupils may have been disproportionately affected by partial school closures, leading them to fall even further behind their peers.

What this report shows is that the upheaval resulting from the pandemic has affected pupils, schools and areas of the country, in different ways. As this report is published, we know that many schools will be thinking about how best to use this information – and leaders’ expert knowledge of their own school contexts – to inform their school planning moving forwards into the next academic year.

Moving Forwards, Making a Difference

To aid busy school leaders in their planning, we have also produced the Moving Forwards, Making a Difference: Planning Guide for Schools’. The guide focuses on high-quality teaching, targeted academic support and wider strategies, as well as the essential elements of implementation. It summarises some key evidence and research-informed strategies which can help schools to identify useful strategies to support pupils and inform teachers and leaders’ choices around how best to invest time, money and energy over the coming academic year.

It also features the voices of teachers and school leaders, giving insight into how schools across the country are using evidence to make research-informed best bets’ to aid recovery.

Due to partial school closures, pupils in Years 7 and 8 missed important opportunities in Key Stage 2 to become secondary ready’. The proportion of pupils who require support with decoding and reading fluency is rapidly increasing, creating a sense of urgency to prioritise high quality literacy teaching across subjects.”

Manchester Enterprise Academy, Wythenshawe

Our hope is that this resource enables school leaders to take stock of their priorities, and examine effective approaches to addressing them, to make a meaningful difference to pupil outcomes and move learning forwards.