During this second lockdown, the move to home learning for school children will once more significantly impact their education. The impact of the lack of internet access and computers for our most disadvantaged children, young people and families across the UK, means the education attainment disadvantage gap is widening rapidly. This gap is not easily resolved and will continue to impact on this generation of children even when the pandemic is over and school based learning returns. Positively, there has started to be significant effort and investment in delivering technology devises, wi-fi and tech support to families; clearly this is seeking to address a recent survey from Teach First, 84 % of school leaders in the most deprived communities say their students do not have sufficient access to technology if they are required to study at home. However, throughout the pandemic resourcing this provision has been haphazard and inconsistent at times, for example, Headteachers across England receiving emails from the Department for Education on the eve of October half-term informing them that their allocations of laptops for disadvantaged pupils had been slashed by around 80%. This trajectory for our most vulnerable children needs to change; the investment in devices during this time and access for our these children needs to be sustained with their use evolving as we move out of lockdown and the pandemic. This will enable us to best mitigate the impacts of a lost education for those at risk of being the lost generation. Utilising both the investment and support from education and voluntary sector organisations to support children, young people and families more directly by providing ongoing home-learning through such things as home-work clubs, catch up lessons and support for parents our children‚’s first and primary educators is paramount if we are to build back better.
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