Huge chunks of school time have been lost to Covid but there’s no plan for a catch-up – no wonder pupils feel forgotten, says Eva Simpson
I got a bit of a shock when I went to my son’s primary school this week to meet his new teacher.
Everything started off well. It was a pleasure to go into her classroom after not being allowed in since March.
As she went through what the children would be learning – interruptions notwithstanding – over the next academic year, she revealed that my son’s year group was the most affected by the Covid lockdowns. They were in reception at the time schools first closed and missed half the year.
Six- and seven-year-olds were then found to be most at risk of falling behind in English and maths, and to be the hardest to get back on track. As far as I know, there is no plan to make up for the gaps in schooling.
It’s little wonder then, that a survey out today on young people’s attitudes and views since the Covid pandemic began makes depressing reading.
An overwhelming majority of respondents, aged between 10 and 25, felt that the pandemic would impact their prospects for the rest of the lives.
These findings revealed that 60% of those aged 13-25 believed they were the best. “ghosted generation” They feel like they have been forgotten or cut off.
Co-op conducted a poll and found that 33% of young people felt the pandemic had affected their ability to continue education.
The company has asked the Government to appoint an urgent youth minister to tackle these problems.
That would definitely be a start as there doesn’t seem to be anyone fighting for young people.
This week’s political agenda focused on social care reform and how we as a nation look after the elderly. The new tax rules will see the younger generation paying more for older people.
These are long-standing important issues that can’t just be kicked into the long grass.
What are the best ways to provide financial support for the young and take concrete steps to make it happen?
It’s no wonder the survey found 58% of youngsters felt the Government had failed their generation in the handling of the pandemic.
It is really terrible stuff. There has been much talk about leveling up, but very little action.
If we want to see young people reach their full potential, it is imperative that this change happens quickly and rapidly.