Bundle: Education and Covid-19


Introduction: returning to school in a pandemic

Reopening public facilities as we come out of the Covid-19 lockdown was always going to be tough. Educational institutions in general and schools in particular present challenges different although not unique to other public services: the compulsory nature of most schooling; the role of the school as a community resource; the carefree nature of childhood; the lack of knowledge about how Covid-19 is passed between children; the susceptibility of adults to the virus; the difficulty of changing school buildings to minimise risk need tackling.

The LGIU has been publishing a briefings to help local authorities think through the issues on the assessment arrangementsschool transportwhat is known about the absence from schoolplans for reopening schoolsmental health of children during the lockdown, and more.

This bundle has three new articles: Kim Fellows of the LGIU looks at Scotland where schools have been open for three weeks, Seán Ó’Riordáin of the LGIU reports from Ireland, and Nansi Ellis of the National Education Union (NEU) gives a view from the school. We will be publishing more briefings and blogs in the coming weeks, and would be happy to publish blogs on your local experience – please contact John Fowler.

Local governments play a vital role in understanding the complex issues and in translating guidance into services that families rely on. Transitions from home to nursery, primary and secondary schools will be even more poignant this year as rights of passage for everyone, but most especially children. LGIU will continue to cover many aspects of education services this autumn.


Back to school in Ireland

1 million children returned to school in Ireland this week, with a staggered return across school years as is normally the case for the first week of Irish schools. Though of course, this year was very a wholly different environment. LGIU’s Seán Ó’Riordáin explains how Ireland is coping with the reopening of schools. Read this blog here.

Re-opening Scottish Schools – learning as we go

Schools in Scotland started to gradually reopen from August 11, in different ways and to differing extents across the country, all taking a safety-first approach. This briefing takes an early look at the experience so far, pulling out learning points to consider over the coming weeks and months. Read this briefing here.

A view from the school – National Education Union

Nansi Ellis, Assistant General Secretary for education policy and research at National Education Union, fills us in on the four key issues that still need addressing as a priority for the reopening of schools in England. Read this blog here.

Returning to school: challenges and considerations

On the 30 July 2020, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially confirmed that schools in Scotland would be re-opening for the autumn term on Tuesday 11 August. This briefing will outline the guidance offered, as well as considering the wider effects on young people of being out of education for so long, and further calls and concerns from third sector organisations and pressure groups. Read this briefing.

Testing times: update on school examinations in England in 2020 and 2021

Issues in relation to proposals for awards and examinations in 2020 and 2021 are discussed, including their impact on delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, the likelihood of grade inflation in 2020, equalities impacts and their effect on the publication of performance tables and the school accountability regime. Read this briefing.

Back to normal? The full reopening of schools post Covid-19 and mitigating the impacts on pupil learning

This briefing provides a further update on school closure issues and examines the continued policy and research output around the impact of closure on particular pupil groups, the mitigations being proposed and put forward by the education community and the Government itself. Read this briefing.

Will universities assist or distract from strategic recovery planning?

How will the local roles and impacts of universities change post-Covid-19? While universities should be major positive contributors to turnaround and recovery, some will also be facing their own existential challenges that will have major implications for local authorities and local leadership teams. Read this briefing.

Further education after Covid-19

FE colleges were anticipating change not least because of the increasing number of colleges in intervention and the anticipated follow up to the Augar Report to name just two potential drivers of change in the system. But Covid-19 has created an entirely new operating environment and the sector’s existing priorities have been reordered and new ones added. Read this briefing.

Youth employment after Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to impact on the workforce hard. Evidence from previous economic crises indicates that young people are likely to be affected more than most groups in the workforce. This briefing looks at what has happened in previous recessions and what can be done now. Read this briefing.

Blog: Words from a Gen-Z

Ella Henry should have sat her A levels this year and enjoyed a long summer with her friends before university, but then the world changed. She writes for us about the impact of the pandemic on her and other young people. Read this blog.

Back to school in the USA

In the country with the worse infection rate, a teacher heads back to school in one of the states with rising Covid-19 cases.