From education to employment

71% Of Teachers Say Free Educational Apps Will Be Most Effective Method In Helping Students Catch Up On Studies

38% Of Teachers Say Students Will Not Be Able To Catch Up 

As the Government moves forward with its plans to get children back into classrooms, most recently announcing a £1bn fund for England’s pupils to tackle the academic effects of COVID-19, Teaching Abroad Direct, surveyed over 1,000 teachers across the UK to get their thoughts on current Government plans and actions.

60% of teachers believe the Government has managed the education system ‘badly’ during the pandemic

  • Just 1 in 10 teachers (11%) believe social distancing within schools can work

  • 91% of teachers feel disparities between rich and poor students will deepen as a result of the pandemic

  • Majority of teachers (70%) feel that all schools will return by September

  • Teachers are in favour of free educational apps (71%) and more online classes (59%) being implemented to help students catch-up

  • Over half (57%) believed that the actions of the UK Government put students at a global disadvantage

When teachers were asked how they thought the Government had handled education during the global pandemic, 3 in 5 (60%) stated they felt it was dealt with ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’.

Of this portion, almost a quarter (24%) said the education system had been handled ‘very badly’.

Over half (57%) of teachers surveyed believed that the actions of the UK Government had put students at a global disadvantage when compared to students in other countries. 

In spite of this, three-quarters of teachers surveyed (75%) agreed with the strategy to delay the reopening of schools, with almost half (47%) saying that they strongly agreed with the approach.

Despite a majority negative sentiment towards the Government’s handling of the crisis, 70% of teachers believe that all schools will reopen in September.

With regards to schools re-opening, teachers were asked if social distancing measures would work, 89% said the measures would not be viable.

In terms of learning, teachers believe that 38% of students will never fully catch-up due to Government handling of COVID-19. Only 3.6% of teachers felt that all students would be able to catch up with their studies.

When asked which methods were most effective in helping students catch up, 71% said free educational apps, 59% stated online classes, whilst only 21% said a shorter summer holiday would help.

When asked about the potential for growing disparities between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those in more privileged positions, with access to private tutors and extra learning materials, for example, 91% of teachers said that they are concerned about the impact this could cause.

Teachers were asked which years they believed would be most adversely affected by COVID-19. Year 11 (58.3%), Year 10 (58%) and Year 6 (51.7%) were referenced the most.

Andrew Lynch, Director of Teaching Abroad Direct, who undertook the research, had this to say:

“We spoke to over a thousand teachers for this piece and did not expect to see such a majority view on some of these topics. Only time will reveal the educational impact of this pandemic, but it’s clear to see that the majority of teachers are extremely concerned overall, particularly with 91% expressing views that the growing divide between students is something that needs to be addressed.”

“Our research also shows 96% of teachers think some students won’t recover academically from the reopening delays, therefore, it’s clear that students need the announced £1bn funding more than ever. This can hopefully go a long way in resurrecting learning for those students who are slowly loosening their grip on academic success.” 

“On the other hand, recent research has shown that many are now considering teaching as a career after being forced to try it out at home. We are slowly seeing an increase in schools and applicants ourselves looking to fill teaching roles globally. Hopefully, we see a progressive increase in teaching talent that students can benefit in years to come. With 57% of teachers stating that students are at a global disadvantage, an increase in teaching talent could be one of many ways the system recovers.”

METHODOLOGY: To conduct our study, we surveyed 1,016 teachers from both primary and secondary schools across the UK between 13th June 2020 to 18th June 2020. Respondents were asked a range of questions in relation to the reopening of UK schools.

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