Improving learner outcomes

Lost learning? DfE report shares pupils progress for the 2020 / 2021 academic year


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25th Feb 2021

The DfE have published a new research report presenting interim findings detailing the progress pupils have made during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

This research was commissioned by the DfE in 2020 estimate the impact of the disruption to schooling as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on that progress.

The interim findings are based on more than 400,000 reading and maths assessments taken in the first half term of autumn 2020 and examines the rate of learning loss as a result of the pandemic.
 

What does the research say?

The research states that ‘as a result of COVID-19 all year groups have experienced a learning loss in reading. In primary schools these were typically between 1.7 and 2.0 months, and in year 8 and year 9, 1.6 and 2.0 months respectively.’

The document continues to say that the learning losses in mathematics were greater and that the DfE estimate that, on average, ‘pupils in primary schools have experienced a learning loss of just over three months.’
 

Published in three parts, the research covers the following:

Part 1: presentation of study sample sizes.

Part 2: examination of historical trends in assessments to develop an approach to measuring the impact on assessment scores of the disruption to schooling as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Part 3: estimation of the average impact on reading and mathematics scores of the disruption to schooling as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 

In conclusion

The DfE reports that the data will enable us to assess the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

Unsurprisingly, being consistent with other studies, the initial analysis presented in this report suggests that that gap may have widened as a result of the pandemic and that additional support, particularly for more disadvantaged children will be required.
 

You can read the full DfE research report here
 

Full guidance for mainstream schools and special schools / other specialist settings can be found on the DFE website.

 


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