Covid-19 has revealed the staggering inequality in our society reflected. According to research carried out by Sky news, during the lockdown, 43% of children from disadvantaged backgrounds study for 1 hour a day compared to 14% from more affluent backgrounds and 4% of children attending private schools.
Nearly two in three (64%) of secondary pupils in state schools from the richest households are offered some form of active help, compared with 47% from the poorest fifth of families, the study suggests. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52701850
82% of secondary school pupils attending private school are offered active help, with 79% being provided with online classes. https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/BN288-Learning-during-the-lockdown-1.pdf
The most deprived communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the government’s lockdown measures including school closures. The experiences and impact of the lockdown will vary largely based on the child’s environment and the opportunities available to them.
While children from ‘better off’ backgrounds have access to online learning resources, equipment, school and parental support as well as a convenient learning environment, those who are poor and less well off lack these ‘privileges’ therefore disadvantaged in this ‘forced’ home learning environment. Covid-19 has exacerbated an entrenched tier education system whereby children from better-off families are racing faster to the top while those from poorer backgrounds are ‘left behind’ as they race to the bottom.
- Migrant Action has supported some migrant families with IT equipment to help children access vital online learning resources including doing school home work.
- Children has also received some study material (books, toys and pencils) to assist learning and development during lockdown
- Migrant Action student volunteers have facilitated virtual interactive learning with children and their parents. These sessions also provide opportunities for informal conversations which help to reduce isolation and loneliness especially for new arrivals in Leeds who could feel ‘cut-off’ from society.
- Our online family learning support provides a great opportunity for family bonding during these challenging times but also give the volunteers the opportunity to directly engage with migrants and share experiences. As such, the scheme has a broader outcome of mediating social and cultural integration.
- “you have made her day, she is so pleased she doesn’t have to share my laptop with me” — Anonymous
- “Thanks Migrant Action for the books, the kids are very happy today and very busy now [with the books]” — Anonymous