Commenting on research published by the International Literacy Centre at UCL showing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on primary schools and pupils in the most disadvantaged areas of England, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Unions, said:

"Teaching staff will recognise themselves in this research.

It is a detailed and truthful account of primary teachers’ experiences during the pandemic and of the conclusions they have drawn from it.

'The researchers understand what government does not: working under pressure and often disrupted, schools are trying to ensure that children’s learning is meaningful and engaging. The government should be encouraging this work and learning something from the energy and resourcefulness that teaching staff are bringing to it.

'We agree with the researchers that attempts to bring back SATs and Ofsted inspections will not support schools in this but will instead obstruct them. The cancellation of statutory tests and inspections in 2021 would free schools up to respond to the needs of their pupils."


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