The Government’s education inspectors, Ofsted, have revealed in a new report that children’s development has regressed due to lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The report, which included 900 visits to education and social care settings, intended to analyse the effects that Covid-19’s lockdown had had on children’s educational development and didn’t contribute towards Ofsted’s grade of the school.
The regressions vary widely, in young children it can be seen in some children returning to education in nappies when they were formerly potty trained, and in older children, some are showing reduced stamina in terms of reading and writing.
Ofsted says there are a multitude of factors that could affect how much a child has regressed, and it is not the usual cause of simply being from a disadvantaged background making educational standards lower.
As parents were given the job of interim-teacher, their children’s educational development was intrinsically linked with how much their parents were working from home, how flexible they were able to be with those hours of work, meaning that children from single-parent backgrounds where that parent was working out of the house most of the day will have seen a significant disadvantage when compared with a child from a 2-parent household.
Leaders within education expressed concerns over budget, with rising costs of covering staff absence and the added cost of extra cleaning facilities putting more stress on an already stretched education sector.
Ofsted also noted that there had been fewer referrals to social care teams, suggesting that children who were in need of intervention, weren’t getting access to it, with this still being the case even though schools have now returned.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:
“We have now entered a second national lockdown. This time, at least, schools, colleges, and nurseries are to remain open. That is very good news indeed. The impact of school closures in the summer will be felt for some time to come – and not just in terms of education, but in all the ways they impact on the lives of young people.
“As it was in the first lockdown, the work of teachers, social workers, and carers, with the support of parents, will again be critical to the future success and happiness of our children.”