Can summer schools help disadvantaged pupils bounce back from Covid?

by

12th May 2020

Download our Summer Schools report here

Don’t count on summer schools to undo impact of Coronavirus lockdown

School leaders across the country are considering whether to deliver summer schools in the hope that they could help pupils bounce back from lockdown. However, schools planning summer activities to tackle the widening of the attainment gap caused by the coronavirus lockdown shouldn’t expect a quick fix.

There is evidence to suggest summer schools can drive academic progress but their impact depends on what approach is taken. In our new report, leading Head Teachers and academy chiefs shared contrasting views on running holiday provision, with some saying they were a ‘bad bet’ and that they will be seen as ‘punishment’ by poor pupils. Others believed they would play an invaluable role in rebooting England’s education system.

There is evidence to suggest summer schools can drive academic progress but their impact depends on what approach is taken. Essential reading for anyone considering whether summer provision could help pupils bounce back! #SummerSchools Click To Tweet

In light of these important questions for the sector we have reviewed the evidence on summer schools and developed guidance on how to maximise impact in the current climate.

Our report emphasises the need to support pupils transitioning between educational phases, particularly those moving from primary to secondary school. We also recommend that schools going ahead with summer activities should balance a focus on academic outcomes with support for pupils’ social and emotional wellbeing.

‘Summer camps’ should open activities to all pupils but they should prioritise the most vulnerable young people, as they are likely to have suffered the most during closures. Working in partnership with children’s services and the youth sector may help schools to reach those who are most in need without it feeling like a punishment.

Four key recommendations for anyone considering running a summer school #SummerSchools Click To Tweet

Download the report here