nasen Connect September 21

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The numeracy and literacy crisis – insights from the front line

What impact has lockdown had on literacy and numeracy for pupils with SEND? Ryan Stevenson, SEND tutoring consultant, summarises available data to help paint a national picture. s children start a new year with excitement and trepidation, we now have a better sense of perspective on the last academic year. It was a trying time to teach, while managing class bubbles and quarantine. This has presented its own challenges, with students and tutors spending time in isolation. Emerging through these clouds, we have a better sense of the lost time students have experienced, but are less clear regarding the impact of this, and we don’t yet know how much learning children have retained. The emotional impact of


this period must also be acknowledged, especially on those with SEND. Studies were conducted by McKinsey on the effectiveness of remote learning during the pandemic, with data provided by teachers around the globe. While schools, parents and tutoring agencies adapted innovatively, the study gave the UK a score of 4.9 out of 10 for online effectiveness of remote learning, with 2.8 learning months lost. By comparison, Germany, a top performer, still suffered a loss of 1.7 months of learning. In June this year, Renaissance Learning and the Education and Policy Institute (EPI) released a report tracking 375,000

BIO D R RYA N S T E V E N S O N Ryan is passionate about improving tuition and education for students with SEND. He is a director and co-founder of Bright Heart Education He still actively tutors and has also previously taught A-level Chemistry in a London school.

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students in England in the first half of the autumn term, and 185,000 students in the second half. The study indicated that primary students lagged by 1.7 months in literacy and by 3.7 months in mathematics. For students from disadvantaged backgrounds (receiving free school meals), these figures were 2.2 and 4.5 months respectively. While there was some catchup in the second half of the autumn term (an average of 0.6 months for literacy and one month for maths), this still resulted in an unfortunate net learning loss. Overall, catch-up was lower for students with SEN. In general, conceptual understanding in maths has suffered greatly, and it is clear there is no

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