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Survey suggests best course for education to steer out of pandemic

A major survey by the National Education Union has given a clear view of actions needed to best steer education out of Covid

The survey, involving more than 10,000 school and college staff and conducted in the days leading up to the wider opening of schools on 8 March calls for:

  • The retention of smaller class sizes as a lesson from lockdown
  • Urgent action by the Government to support schools and colleges during the recovery and beyond, by reducing high workload (85%) and the role of Ofsted and performance tables in the next school year (77%). It also calls for the addressing of the 'digital divide' once and for all.

Additionally, 98% of respondents do not believe extended school days or changing term lengths are worth considering at this time, with far greater urgency placed on flexibility and creativity to properly aid on-site student engagement and learning.

Almost all respondents (94%) believe poverty affects learning, with 51% saying it does so to a “large extent”. 68% believe government must urgently tackle the recent rise in child poverty.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said “The message is clear: we need to steer a course beyond Covid which rights the historic faults of the education system in this country and the distorted priorities of those who run it.

"If the government is serious about building back better, then they should take on board these views. Education professionals have been on the frontline, either virtual or physical, throughout the last twelve months and it is their insights on what has worked best that should be taken forward.”

Read more here.