Disadvantaged pupils most affected by the pandemic

Disadvantaged pupils most affected by the pandemic

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that many pupils will be heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the long run, with disadvantaged pupils especially affected.

A key point is that students with access to good technology and parents willing to help with their work will fave much better than those from disadvantaged backgrounds who don’t have access to such support and facilities.

General Secretary of the Joint Managerial Body (JMB) for Voluntary Secondary Schools, John Curtis, said it was an issue “we would have been aware of throughout the time of the pandemic”.

“There has been, to some extent, a digital divide in one respect. That some pupils are more readily engaged with the remote engagement than others. There is a disadvantage there,” Mr Curtis said.

“We’re also concerned as well that obviously there are some pupils who will more readily engage with school, and pupils who find school difficult will find remote engagement even more difficult because they don’t have the direction that they would normally have.”

However, supports are being envisaged for this summer after the model of last year, according to Mr Curtis, with “supplementary programmes” put in place last summer by the Department of Education to help students at a disadvantage throughout the pandemic.