In recent research, Pensiero (PI), Kelly and Bokhove (Pensiero et al. 2020) used the Understanding Society (USoc) Covid-19 April 2020 survey to investigate the uptake of schoolwork in homes during the first Covid school closure. We will use data from both April 2020 and January 2021 surveys, to analyse:
1) Whether the prevalence of schoolwork between the first and the second school closure has changed.
2) Whether the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged families in schoolwork has changed.
3) The extent to which the change in schoolwork and changes in differences between Socio-Economic Status (SES) groups can be explained by compositional effects, i.e. changes in observed circumstances such as acquisition of new computers and working patterns versus changes in behaviour.
4) In addition, we will propose policies to mitigate the impact of the school closures on the learning gap by socio-economic group.
The research will provide timely information to help schools and policy makers to quantify the loss of learning opportunities (proxied by the uptake of schoolwork in homes) and identify the socio-economic groups which have suffered more from this loss during the school closures. We will engage with policies to mitigate the likely impact of the school closure on the learning gap by socio-economic group, such as academic tutoring, and providing students with better access to IT at home. The research will also be relevant for the decision regarding the timing and the types of school assessments to undertake in 2021, which is a key current concern for policy. Moreover, schools might close again in the near future due to a rise of the infection rate. Should this happen, our research will provide valuable information on the type and amount of distance learning which is likely to arise.
Funders: ESRC grant ES/W002124/1
- Pensiero, N., Kelly, A., & Bokhove, C. (2020). Learning inequalities during the Covid-19 pandemic: how families cope with home-schooling. University of Southampton. Available online at: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/442619/
- Pensiero, N., Kelly, A., & Bokhove, C. (2021) Learning inequalities during the Covid-19 pandemic. A longitudinal analysis using the UK Understanding Society 2020 and 2021 data. University of Southampton 60pp.
- Online – 127 articles (Guardian, MailOnline, phys.org, Regionals like Shropshire Star)
- Print – 2 articles (Southern Daily Echo, The Yorkshire Post)
- Youtube – Evidence Week 2020- Learning Inequalities during Covid-19
- The project was invited to the post-pandemic research agenda discussion hosted by Nuffield Foundation, including Tim Leunig, HM Treasury, and Tom Younger, Department for Work and Pensions
- The project was nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Award in the Public Good category.
- Project findings will be presented during a keynote speech at the European Sociological Association, Barcelona, August-September 2021.