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School Recovery Strategies

Department for Education Research Report – School Recovery Strategies: Year 1 Findings

February 16, 2022

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The Department for Education has commissioned a piece of research to understand how primary and secondary schools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the research, a partnership between Ipsos MORI, Sheffield Hallam University, and the Centre for Education Youth (CEYF), is to assess further support necessary for the future.

Year 1 findings detailed some of the challenges that schools had and how they responded, including:

  • The substantial differences in progress between pupils, many noting that pupils’ emotions and mental health were a clear issue
  • Restrictions and continued pupil and staff absences had made consistent instruction difficult
  • As the year progressed, pupils showed changes in social, emotional, and academic progress gaps increased
  • Those from disadvantaged backgrounds were severely impacted by low attendance or the inability to engage well with home-schooling


Significantly, the report found that despite its overarching positive impact on academic attainment, health and wellbeing, 37% of schools had reduced PE hours to make way for core subjects such as English.

To find out more about the report, see here.

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