When the first wave of COVID019 hit and schools closed, educators who were asking the right questions wanted to know how to create powerful online learning environments for their students. They were looking for ideas, content and support to help them. Many schools struggled and some were unable to provide a suitable online offer of any kind for their students. As usual the most disadvantaged learners were disproportionately affected by this gap.
Pupils generally, and particularly those in the transition years, have suffered during significant time outside of school and need better and more structured support to close the gap.
These challenges are even more acute for young people from diverse backgrounds where the attainment gap is worsening and where a significant proportion of young people will be suffering trauma or high levels of anxiety, further impacting their ability to learn.
Through this project we provided much needed funding and support. We learned that with the right ambition, support and team, it is possible to develop useful technologies to support disadvantaged students rapidly and effectively. Nonetheless, while several thousand students were supported, this project was a drop in the ocean, and much more needs to be done.