Covid 'lost learning' gaps are closing, but rising pupil absence a key threat

Substantial progress has been made by schools during the summer term 2021 to recover learning “lost” during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

However, a clear link between absence from school and learning loss during the pandemic must spark action from the government to tackle soaring infection rates among children and young people, school leaders have said.

The latest pupil progress research finds that by the end of the spring term in March 2021, average learning losses were 3.4 months in maths and 2.2 months in reading for pupils in primary school. But by the summer term – June 2021 – losses had recovered to 2.2 months in maths and 0.9 months in reading.

At secondary level, pupils saw losses of 1.5 months in reading by the autumn term 2020, but by the summer term 2021 these had been reduced to 1.2 months.

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