Students have suffered educational disruption in combatting the spread of covid-19.
Education policy and practice during the pandemic has faced uncertainty, with some a priori assumptions proven true, while others not.
The research tests the following a priori assumptions of home-based learning against the evidence that is now available:
- Disadvantaged students will suffer educationally from a digital divide.
- Students will suffer from a significant learning loss.
- Disadvantaged students will be disproportionately impacted in learning outcomes.
- The mental health impact on students will negatively affect their educational outcomes.
- Significant additional resourcing is required to address learning losses, especially those of disadvantaged students.
The research finds that:
- There’s little evidence that disadvantaged students were disproportionately impacted accessing home-based learning supports.
- There’s mixed evidence of the scale and scope of learning loss.
- There’s no clear relationship between students’ demographics and their reported achievement during home-based learning.
- No significant relationship between students’ reported achievement and their mental and social health, but that their coping levels matter.
- Rather than significant additional resourcing, better investment of existing funding to improve teaching practice would be most effective.
Policymakers and educators must make evidence-based decisions in advancing education policy and practice coming out of the pandemic.