Education is critical to achieving gender justice, peace, stability and climate resilience 

Education is a fundamental human right. Quality, equitable and inclusive education benefits individuals, communities and countries.

Education saves lives; improves nutrition; reduces child, early and forced marriage; and leads to more equal, respectful and open societies.

It is of grave concern, therefore, that the COVID-19 pandemic has created the worst education crisis in a century, affecting 94% of students worldwide.

At the pandemic’s peak in 2020, 1.6 billion students were taken out of the classroom. One in seven children globally have missed more than three quarters of their in-person learning since the start of the pandemic.

While swift and wide-ranging attempts were made to reach girls and boys through remote learning, nearly a third (463 million) were not able to access it – often lacking the necessary technological assets at home.

As a result, it is estimated that more than 100 million additional girls and boys will fall below the minimum proficiency level in reading.

This year of lost learning will have a damaging effect on the futures of millions.

The closure of schools has also prevented girls and boys from accessing protective spaces. Critical services such as school meals, menstrual hygiene kits, health services, and mental health and psychosocial support were suddenly out of reach.

Current evidence and experience shows the impacts of this are gendered, with girls and young women most affected through increased exposure to child, early and forced marriages; trafficking and sexual exploitation; and unintended or unwanted adolescent pregnancy.

The pandemic has exacerbated many pre-existing crises, including an education emergency that has resulted in high out-of-school rates, particularly among adolescents and young people, and a global learning crisis.

The climate emergency, humanitarian crises and conflicts are growing in complexity and length, further halting progress.xv COVID-19 has amplified these crises and knocked even further off course progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 on education and gender equality, which was already lagging.

Millions of girls and boys risk missing out on an education unless ambitious action is taken. As it prepares to host the G7, the UK government has pledged to inject some “urgency” into the global education recovery.

This research on the "IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON ADOLESCENTS’ EDUCATION" provides an opportunity for adolescents to speak from their own perspectives, vividly portraying how COVID-19 has had a profound effect on their learning, motivation, mental health and wellbeing.

The findings present a stark insight into the challenges that adolescents, parents and teachers have faced over the past year as an already weak and overstretched education systems failed to adapt and cope with the sudden shift to remote learning:

  • Nearly two-thirds of teachers were unable to teach remotely during lockdowns due to their own or their students’ lack of connectivity or access to devices. A lack of electronic devices, digital infrastructure and electricity meant most adolescents – particularly those in rural locations – were unable to access a quality education.
  • Nearly nine in ten teachers reported fewer students attending online lessons compared with pre-pandemic school-based lessons.
  • Fewer than a third of adolescents felt they learned as much at home as they would have in school. The home environment was generally not conducive to learning, with adolescents feeling easily distracted, unsupported, and limited in study time due to competing demands.
  • More than a year since the pandemic began, six in ten adolescents have not yet fully returned to education. The reasons for this include more girls deciding, or being forced, to enter marriage or find work. Others did not return because they felt they had missed so much education they were unable or unwilling to catch up.
  • The existing inequalities in the education system were exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly for girls, who face challenges unique to their intersecting experiences of gender and age.
  • The social and economic impacts of the pandemic, isolation, concerns about the future, and stressful home-learning environments placed additional burdens on students, parents and caregivers. Adolescents reported significant impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Nearly all adolescents want greater involvement in decisions about their education and how to respond to COVID-19 in their community.

Yasmin Qureshi MP, Labour’s Shadow International Development Minister, commenting on Plan International UKs report into the Impact of Covid-19 on Adolescent’s Education, said:

“All over the world, education has been drastically impacted by the pandemic. Home schooling has been a particular struggle for the most marginalised, and some students have received no education at all.

“As Britain hosts the G7 and the Global Partnership for Education summits, we have an opportunity to show true leadership to support access to education.

"The Government must reverse its decision to cut the aid budget and reaffirm its commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on supporting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable."

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Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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