As the effects of Covid-19 on young people’s education become more and more obvious, people might start to consider how they can use their time to help those who have lost out following months of disruption and uncertainty.
The last year has certainly been an unprecedented one. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020, in the UK we have seen through three lockdowns and countless dramatic changes to our daily lives. For young people, the threat of the virus itself might be seemingly small, but its impact on schooling and educational access has been devastating.
Since March 2020, school children across the UK have lost out on half-a-year’s worth of in-person teaching as a result of nation-wide school closures. Students in years 11-13 have also faced not only disruption, but uncertainty and confusion about the fate of their GCSE and A-Level exams. Not only has this hindered students’ educational progress, but it has also taken a significant toll on their mental well-being.
While there have been measures in place to reduce disruption, such as online teaching and free resources, these measures have not been accessible to all. This has meant that students who are already ‘disadvantaged’ have felt the effects most significantly. For example, the remote-learning system adopted in the UK during school closures was far better suited to some students over others. Those who did not have access to electronic devices and/or internet at home were unable to undertake lessons online and their home-learning resources were significantly reduced. This system also privileged students with parental support and space, over those without. As a result, ‘disadvantaged’ students have felt, and will continue to feel, the effects of the pandemic on their education far more than others, and, in turn, this will widen existing inequalities longer term.
As schools consider how best to support students in catching up on what has been missed over months of disruption, it begs the question of what more can be done, especially for the ‘disadvantaged’ students who have suffered most.
At Tutors Green, our mission is to make first-class education accessible to all. While Covid-19 has certainly posed new challenges for us and our tutors, we are committed to helping students overcome the setbacks imposed on them by the pandemic. For example, we run catch-up programmes in schools to ensure that students have the support they need to reach their goals, as well as tutoring outside of school hours. Additionally, we run pro-bono mentorship programmes to help ‘disadvantaged’ students who are applying for Oxbridge, a service which may be more needed this year than ever before. Finally, we work with a diverse range of students from all backgrounds, so that this support does not serve to further the divide in educational access. We are looking forward to delivering more in-person tutoring as these opportunities open up and hope to help as many students as we can in the face of this educational crisis.
Tutors Green is committed to the safeguarding of children and young people. For more information about our work, please visit tutorsgreen.com.