The coronavirus crisis could have damaging implications on the most vulnerable pupils in society, according to insight.
One London teacher explained “many of our students now bear extra responsibilities, from taking care of younger siblings to helping maintain the household and are less focused on their education. Their learning suffers from he added pressure, none of which is under their control”.
But concerns for vulnerable pupils could be far wider. Early indications suggest certain pupils are feeling ‘alone’ and intimidated by family members. Here is what we now how the coronavirus crisis is affecting some of the UK’s most at risk pupils.
How the Government’s school action plan has put vulnerable students at risk
The Patrick Morgan Foundation has stated that even before the pandemic, “disadvantaged children are twice as likely to not be in employment after leaving school than their better-off peers, even when they have equivalent qualifications.”
On a practical level, technology is a problem for large numbers of children living in poverty: “We have seen multiple instances of teachers arriving at family homes in order to set up internet, loan computers and, in some cases, provide food,” said James O’Dowd from the charity.
Tensions have risen in some households, such as situations where devices need to be shared between siblings and parents working from home. These tensions make it difficult for some pupils to feel focused for the day.
Schools themselves are not rich in resources and were given little time to prepare for home learning, adding to the issues.
O’Dowd added: “Some disadvantagd young people now have a lack of direction, which increases their risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).”
Some children living in poverty do not classify as ‘vulnerable’, and therefore slip through the cracks of support offered so far, such as food vouchers and subsidised childcare.
The impact of the move on teachers
Teachers are working overtime in order to keep pupils engaged. Time has been split between the children of key workers, who are still coming into school, and those who are learning from home.
The impact on the future job market
Home-based learning means that some support is now not available.
Careers support for example would normally guide Year 11-13s through their next steps, however this has now bee put on the backburner. The lack of direction could cost pupils, and also have damaging effects on their motivation.
For the system to work, pupils that are most at risk need regular assessment to stop them falling behind. But ultimately, long-term school closures may have damaging implications on many individuals in our society.
How EDLounge can help vulnerable pupils
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