Over half (54%) of teachers are now using online live lessons, compared to just 4% in March 2020, according to new research from the Sutton Trust.
The report published today, Learning in Lockdown, looks at the situation for pupils at the beginning of the second period of school closures in January. It includes the polling of 6,475 teachers by Teacher Tapp in both the independent and state sectors.
Although the research shows that schools are now better equipped to deliver online teaching, disparities remain. For example, 86% of private schools are using online live lessons, compared to 50% in state schools, a gap which has widened since the first lockdown.
The Sutton Trust said the impact of the second period of closures on the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils is “likely to be significant”.
- Almost a quarter (23%) of primary pupils are doing more than five hours of learning a day, up from one in 10 (11%) at the end of March. For secondary students, it has increased from 19% to 45%.
- However, 40% of children in middle class homes are learning for over five hours a day, compared to just 26% of those in working class households.
- 5% of teachers in state schools reported that all their students have access to an appropriate device for remote learning, compared to 54% at private schools. Looking at pupils with adequate internet access, the figures are 5% and 51% respectively.
- Over half (55%) of teachers at the least affluent state schools report a lower standard of work than expected, compared to 41% at the most affluent state schools and just under a third (30%) at private schools.
- Over half (55%) of teachers at the least affluent state schools report a lower-than-normal standard of work returned by pupils since the shutdown, compared to 41% at the most affluent state schools and 30% at private schools.
- Teachers in the least advantaged schools were much more likely to say there would be a substantial increase in the attainment gap. About half (49%) said so, compared to just 25% in the most affluent and 8% in private secondary schools.
- A majority of teachers (52%) cited a faster rollout of laptops as the single most helpful intervention to help disadvantaged pupils during the period of closure, with 20% of headteachers citing online tutoring.
- Two thirds (66%) of senior leaders in state schools reported needing to source IT equipment for disadvantaged pupils themselves while waiting for government support.
Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “The first period of school closures have had a huge impact on all young people, but particularly those from lower-income backgrounds. The repercussions of these months of lost learning are devastating and will be felt for years to come. It’s imperative that we don’t let this happen again.
The government has made good progress, but they need to do more – Sir Peter Lampl, the Sutton Trust
“The immediate priority has to be to address the gap in digital provision between rich and poor. The government has made good progress, but they need to do more. There also has to be substantial additional funding for schools when they reopen, focused on students from low-income backgrounds who have fallen even further behind.”
The Trust is proposing a £750m one-off pupil premium boost that would give schools an additional £400 per eligible pupil to spend as they see fit, including on subsidised tutoring through the National Tutoring Programme.
Read the full report.