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What impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on education?

Read our view on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on education and mental health in schools.

Schools and colleges play an important role in supporting young people with their mental health. As well as providing stability, routine and consistency to many young people, schools provide protective factors for young people’s mental health and notably a connection with trusted adults such as teachers and pastoral support.

 

74% of teachers and school staff agreed that schools being closed to most students over the period of lockdown has had a negative impact on the mental health of young people.
YoungMinds survey, June 2020

Our view

The Education Select Committee recently launched an inquiry into how the outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of the education sector and children’s social care system.

We told them that:

  1. COVID-19 is having a negative impact on young people’s mental health. We are concerned that, with most young people not currently attending school and many young people not having access to resources and materials with which to learn, there will be a subsequent detrimental effect on both academic attainment and wellbeing.
  2. The impact of this, particularly on groups who are already disadvantaged, is likely to widen existing inequalities and to contribute to a rise in young people looking for mental health support.
  3. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a long-lasting impact on young people’s mental health and the services that support them, including schools and children’s services. The Government must consider this throughout its emergency response and policies to recover from the crisis.
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