Schools

‘Wake-up call’ as primary pupils struggle with maths post-Covid

Younger children still weeks behind pre-lockdown norms, showing PM faces 'many obstacles' in maths to 18 ambition

Younger children still weeks behind pre-lockdown norms, showing PM faces 'many obstacles' in maths to 18 ambition

11 May 2023, 0:01

More from this author

Primary school children are still struggling to catch up on maths in the wake of Covid, a study has found.

Education Policy Institute bosses said their latest research with Renaissance Learning into education recovery should act as a “wake-up call” to the government, as they warned more needs to be done to tackle pandemic learning loss.

The latest report found the gap in reading outcomes between the most and least disadvantaged primaries is about 6 per cent wider than when the virus broke out.

And in maths youngsters aged between four and 11 are said to be about five weeks behind expectations prior to the outbreak more than three years ago.

EPI head of analysis Jon Andrews said “it is clear the effects of Covid are still being felt” in the classroom.

“There is a risk that government focus on education recovery is waning, and this analysis is a wake-up call that there is still much work to be done.

“The prime minister has set out a bold ambition for all young people to study maths up to age 18. There are many obstacles to meeting that, and this analysis highlights that among them is the fact younger children have fallen behind in their maths as a result of the pandemic.”

The study did, though, find “outcomes in reading appear to have recovered for most year groups”. EPI said this was consistent with national curriculum assessments at the end of key stage 2 last spring.

But the gap in reading outcomes between primary schools “with high and low levels of disadvantage is equivalent to about 12.3 months of learning”. The figure stood at 11.7 months before the first lockdown.

The authors of the document said it will be “the first in a series of reports that will be produced over the coming year as we ensure policy makers have access to robust data” on pupil performance.  

This comes after a government-backed project run by Renaissance and the EPI in October 2021 found there was “notable catch-up” for primary-aged pupils in reading.

The Department for Education was approached for comment.

More from this theme

Schools

‘Elite’ Star and Eton sixth forms reveal ‘clearing house’ careers role

Partnership between academy trust and top private school also opens new 'think and do' tank

Schools Week Reporter
Schools

Reception baseline test: Partial move to digital delayed

Standards and Testing Agency had planned to move some elements of the test on-screen from 2024

Freddie Whittaker
Schools

Give parents termly window to request childcare, schools told

Ahead of the launch of the wraparound childcare programme, the government has published new guidance for schools

Jack Dyson
Schools

Labour’s school improvement teams will deliver misogyny training

Research shows rise in references to sexual harassment, abuse and safeguarding incidents in Ofsted reports

Freddie Whittaker
Schools

Lambeth spent £230k on legal fees over superhead departure

It was revealed the council had reached a settlement with Sir Craig Tunstall last month

Freddie Whittaker
Schools

Schools warned over Big Classroom ‘possible subscription trap’

Teachers got stung by bills of nearly £500 and legal threats after signing up for a free trial

Jack Dyson

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *