03 Mar 2022

New NESET report on the impact of COVID-19 on the education of disadvantaged children and the socio-economic consequences thereof

NESET is happy to present a new analytical report “The impact of COVID-19 on the education of disadvantaged  children and the socio-economic consequences thereof”, prepared by Network member Claudia Koehler, George Psacharopoulos and NESET deputy Administrative coordinator Loes van der Graaf.

Full and partial school closures, as well as the introduction of full-time distance learning during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, were unforeseen and unexpected phenomena across Europe. Despite existing transformations towards digitalisation and the use of digital tools in education, the pandemic demonstrated that curricula, pedagogies, and the capacities of actors in education were insufficiently prepared for an abrupt and unplanned switch to entirely remote education.

The switch to online education affected children’s learning processes differently, depending on their individual educational needs and vulnerabilities. The interplay between vulnerability and resilience during the COVID-19 school closures has influenced the extent to which the educational progress of disadvantaged children is disproportionately affected, compared with that of their peers.

The aim of the report is to present the ways in which the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic affected learning progress among disadvantaged children in school education, and to determine how the conditions that arose have impacted learning loss, delay and inequality. The report presents recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders in education to mitigate the widening of learning inequalities in the post-COVID landscape, and to stimulate the learning progress of disadvantaged children.

In particular, the report focuses on three groups of disadvantaged children, namely: 1)children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in mainstream education; 2)children from lower socio-economic backgrounds; and 3) children with a refugee or migrant background.

Access the full report, executive summaries in English, French and German, and a summarising one-pager in our Library.