Best Practice

Recovering from Covid: Supporting the learning of disadvantaged pupils

After the Covid-19 lockdown, we are facing a growing attainment gap between rich and poor. Bethany Eadie asks how we might spend our Pupil Premium budgets this year and what evidence-based measures we can take to begin closing the gap again

The recent Covid-19 lockdown is likely to have reversed progress made in narrowing the attainment gap in the last decade. Indeed, the Education Endowment Foundation’s recent evidence review predicts that the gap could widen by as much as 75 per cent (EEF, 2020).

While many pupils will likely be returning to school with significant gaps in their knowledge this September, disadvantaged pupils may be disproportionately further behind than their less disadvantaged peers.

In fact, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) recently reported that the disadvantage gap has stopped closing for the first time in a decade – with disadvantaged pupils in England now reported to be 18.1 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs (Hutchinson et al, 2020; SecEd, 2020).

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