With Covid restrictions practically ceasing to exist from 21st March, how are students being further supported with their education, can more be done and how can EdTech now assist?
The education sector has undoubtedly been affected by the pandemic for the foreseeable future. With the 2022 exam topics now released, schools have now been primarily focusing on preparing students for their exams. But what about those still absent or not attending, are they being supported enough?
“attendance in state-funded schools fell to 87.4 percent on January 20, with 415,000 pupils off for Covid-related reasons. Pre-pandemic, the overall absence rate in 2018-19 was 4.7 percent.”
Despite absentee numbers slowly decreasing, there are still students who are absent. There will also be students in the future that refuse to attend because of reasons such as medical, Covid-related anxiety or other reasons; they still need support.
Is everything being rushed?
Scrapping Covid restrictions has been deliberated as to whether it is the right thing to do given the current circumstances. Covid still exists and children are more likely to pass it onto their families.
“Those who reported working in the education sector continued to be more likely to test positive in comparison with other working adults. This is likely because of the recent high rate of infections among school children.”
The education sector has struggled like many other industries with the impacts of the pandemic. Removing restrictions raises the question of whether it will result in rates going back up? Geoff Barton, head of the Association of Schools and Colleges said:
“Staff and pupils are often absent, not just because they test positive but because they are actually ill with coronavirus, and this will obviously not abate if there is more transmission.
Like everyone else, we want to see the back of coronavirus, but this does feel like a headlong rush – rather than a sensibly phased approach.”
Current students, and in particular those in year 11, are going to be completing traditional exams for the first time in three years and need all the help they can get.
Admittedly, schools have had a torrid time balancing budgets and dealing with staff absences. But, students have been struggling to prepare properly for their studies with limited teacher contact.
What education support is in place?
The government has recently outlined procedures that have aimed to tackle persistent absences and secure good attendance. But, is it helping to support students academically?
“Absence increases throughout secondary school, with 19% of year 11s persistently absent, compared with around 11% of those in year 7.”
Absent students still need support. With the failure of the National Tutoring Programme, EdTech could play a vital role in supporting students with their studies post-Covid.
“the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) should utilise a more diverse range of edtech solutions to help pupils catch up on lost learning and to maximise its reach. This has not materialised, and recent worrying analysis has shown that only 10% of this year’s target for students receiving one-to-one or small group tutoring from NTP tuition partners has been reached.”
EdTech has demonstrated its value in recent years. The ability to learn remotely has encouraged thousands of students to continue education on their terms. But, will schools use more EdTech solutions to their advantage and explore the variety of options at their disposal?
Additionally, in regards to this summer’s exams, the government has given support for students by allowing advanced notice of the topics so students can have more time to prepare, which is a positive.
“Exams will be graded more generously this year providing a safety net for students.”
The benefits of the reintroduction of traditional exams will be interesting to see. Referring back to EdTech, there are solutions out there that can support absent students with their exams even remotely.
How EDClass can support your students with their education
EDClass has been providing students with support remotely for over 13 years. Students use the platform for several reasons including medical, mental health, Covid-related anxiety and many others.
UK-qualified teachers support students throughout their learning via text or webcam chat and even offer mental health support.
With over 17,000 pre-made lessons and continuous assessment, students can learn at their own pace, attain better grades and positively reintegrate into school. Just take a look at Faye’s positive reintegrate story.