Pandemic policies were always going to harm children’s education

Pandemic policies were always going to harm children’s education

A new study has ‘discovered’ that children’s academic progress suffered as a result of the policies introduced because of the pandemic.

Also ‘discovered’ is that the Pope is Catholic, and the place where bears go to the toilet has been identified.

It does not need a Covid Social Mobility and Opportunities Study to show how children’s education was affected.

Needless to say, the study has been used as a club to beat the Conservative government, but the truth is that whoever was in power would have faced similar criticisms.

Resources are tight and even the National Tutoring Programme would never be big enough or resourced enough to cope with the problem.

You cannot close thousands of schools and then expect some catch-up lessons to make up for what has been lost.

There will have to be some level of acceptance that it cannot be completely fixed.

Supportive suggestions and strategies would be a better approach rather than just heaping criticism on those in power at the time Covid emerged.

Mistakes were made, of that, there is no doubt. But many of these mistakes were backed by all parties.

Cancelling exams was wrong. Schools were virtually empty and they could have held them.

Cancelling them removed focus and clear objectives for children.

The decision to allow teachers to grade their own students was disastrous and we now have to live with massively inflated grades.

Universities and employers will be aware that certain year groups were affected by pandemic policies and will have to make allowances and perhaps provide extra tuition where necessary.

While doing everything possible to help those affected, primary education should be where the focus is, so that another generation’s education isn’t harmed.

Children leaving primary school with poor literacy and numeracy will struggle in the secondary system.

The detrimental effect of this could carry on for years to come.

And if we have another pandemic like Covid, I hope the education of our young people has more attention.