Teacher Insights: Educators concerned by Post Covid-attainment gap this 22/23 school year
By Denisha Polin
Schools are back from the summer break and it’s time to kick-start learning and assessment. Determining student levels, curriculum planning and whole-class assessment are at the top of the checklist for most teachers as they return to the classroom this autumn term. With learning recovery in action, pandemic related learning-loss and challenges arising from the cost-of-living crisis there are understandably challenges and concerns for many this 22/23 academic year.
Key findings from our online survey of primary and secondary school senior leaders and subject leaders across the UK and Ireland revealed that:
- 1 in 5 teachers and head teachers (19%) believe addressing the attainment gap will be the biggest challenge when returning to the classroom this September
- Nearly 40% of teachers admit feeling unprepared to measure the differences in attainment caused by Covid-19
- The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on staff and pupils is also a key concern for this Autumn
“The attainment gap caused by Covid-19 continues to be a challenge for teachers across the country and I know it will be a top priority for the teaching team at Hales Valley Trust this Autumn term. We have successfully utilised the edtech solutions available to date, using Accelerated Reader and Star Assessments to both measure and act on existing learning loss, but this will continue to be important this new academic term to ensure all pupils are progressing to the best of their ability.” – Rebecca Cox, CEO
Of considering the top challenges they face this autumn term, measuring and addressing the attainment gap produced by Covid-19 recovery were most prominent, with nearly 40% of teachers revealing they felt unprepared to measure learning loss, and almost half (48%) unprepared to act on attainment differences.
Assessment will be key to closing attainment gaps this academic year and over three-quarters of teachers (77%) are planning to assess their pupil’s progress at the start of term. The majority (76%) of teachers felt literacy learning loss would be the hardest to close, however maths skills were also a concern for 1 in 5 teachers (20%), with over a quarter (27%) naming numeracy skills such as fraction, decimals and percentages as the most difficult to close.
Amid these concerns, there was hope as three-quarters of teachers (75%) said their confidence in using edtech had increased, a 4% uplift compared to July 2021, where 71% of teachers stated that their edtech confidence had grown.
How can we help:
“At Renaissance, we continue to invest in innovative solutions designed to support School and MAT leaders, to help improve education outcomes throughout and beyond the 2022/23 academic year, and to accelerate learning for all. Our resources and solutions provide both a roadmap for identifying, and tools for closing, persistent attainment gaps – allowing teachers to focus on educating pupils, guiding their learning development and planning tailored programmes.” – Joan Mill, Managing Director, International at Renaissance
From maths to literacy there are a variety of online tools available to schools which support learning recovery and help pupils meet expected standards.
Star Assessments for reading and maths supports pupils and teachers by providing skill-based questions that determine mastery within skill domains to ensure age-related expectations are being met.
During major testing periods such as the beginning of the academic year, Star can be used as a tool to monitor students’ progress and ensure that they are on track. Having data like this is instrumental in planning, teaching and learning allowing teachers to see what is and isn’t working so that timely interventions can be organised and implemented.
Teachers can use curriculum-aligned Focus Skills from Renaissance, made freely available through dedicated Teacher Workbooks, to plan lessons that support pupils in learning year-appropriate skills. When combined with formative assessment, Focus Skills can save teachers time and support them in creating tailored lesson plans, meaning pupils spend more time learning and are given more specific support for their developmental needs.
For more information, please visit our website or arrange a call at your convenience.