The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has today announced three new research studies designed to provide greater understanding of the strategies schools put in place to support pupils throughout Covid-19 closures, and the impact of these approaches on the disadvantage gap.
In June, the EEF published a rapid evidence assessment which concluded starkly that school closures will have reversed a decade’s progress in closing the disadvantage gap. However, the unprecedented circumstances of Covid-19 mean the evidence base remains limited.
Three new studies have been commissioned to help address that evidence gap, providing robust estimates of the changes to the disadvantage gap among primary-age children, as well as uniquely detailed information on how schools are supporting pupils’ wellbeing and learning this academic year.
The three projects announced by the EEF are:
1. A team led by FFT aims to provide the earliest robust estimate of the change in the disadvantage gap pre- and post-lockdown, as well as analysing strategies associated with mitigating a widening gap, focused on pupils in Years 2 to 6 in 145 primary schools. Find out more about this project here
2. The National Foundation for Educational Research will assess the extent to which Key Stage 1 pupils’ attainment in reading and maths has been impacted by school closures, and particularly the effect on disadvantaged pupils. 158 schools will provide detailed information on the types of support individual pupils are receiving this year, as well as whole-school strategies – such as small-group work, tutoring, parental engagement – which will be uniquely important in trying to understanding the impact of different responses for disadvantaged groups. Find out more here
3. The University of York, NIESR and EPI will assess the impact of lockdown on the school readiness of new Reception children across England and their educational attainment and socio-emotional wellbeing over their first year of education. Find more information here.
Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said: