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New research from Renaissance, a global provider of leading Edtech solutions to improve outcomes and accelerate learning, has revealed that over 20% of teachers believe addressing the attainment gap arising from Covid-19 related disruption will be the biggest challenge this school term.

The research asked over 300 senior school leaders, department heads, and teachers about their thoughts and concerns as the new school term got underway. Respondents cited sequential disruptions caused by school closures or isolation bubbles (14%) as among the largest expected challenges.

The majority (44%) of teachers believe that the remote learning environment has had a greater impact on pupil attainment, while 26% of them said it has not affected the attainment, and 32% of them recorded a small impact. The literacy attainment gap was of particular concern to teachers with 57% reporting they felt it would be the hardest gap of all the core skills to close this current school term. In comparison, only 25% of teachers said that the mathematics attainment gap would be a challenge.

12-year-old girl wearing a reusable, protective face mask in classroom while working on school work at her desk.

Regular feedback from teachers (27%) and tailored work programmes for each child (22%) was seen as top solutions to close the attainment gap. Teachers also said that more mental health support for pupils and engagement with peers may improve their performance.

But there is a silver lining to the past 18 months as education professionals indicated high levels of confidence in using Edtech since COVID-19 disruption. Around 71% of teachers said their confidence in using Edtech had increased.  Edtech and digital learning platforms were appreciated for offering quick access to key resources (24%) and providing interactive learning methods that motivate students to learn (21%) along with the freedom to learn at one’s own pace (14%).

With such a variety of online tools available, experts at Renaissance are encouraging schools to take advantage of teachers’ improved Edtech confidence and expand their digital offering, whilst also leveraging resources such as Focus Skills™ Teacher Workbooks, to help tackle the attainment gap caused by Covid-19 school closures.

Renaissance believes that teachers can use its complete literacy solution to address the literacy attainment gap. The solution consists of a range of offerings such as Star Reading assessment, myON, and Accelerated Reader to engage students, motivate reading practise and improve reading progress. Working with over 120 regional and local schools, Renaissance is actively promoting literacy and numeracy development to combat the challenges faced by schools as they provide distance learning to young students. The products and solutions also support differentiated instruction and personalised learning to optimise overall student development.