Schools’ responses to Covid-19: Key findings from the Wave 1 survey

Julie Nelson and Caroline Sharp

09 July 2020

This report summarises the findings from the Wave 1 surveys of publicly-funded mainstream schools in England. This research reinforces concerns about the limited engagement of pupils with remote learning during the ‘lockdown’ period and the potential damage to their education.

Key Findings

  • Schools have gone to considerable lengths to support pupils but they have experienced a number of constraints including reduced teaching capacity and limited IT access for both pupils and teachers.
  • A minority of schools were using interactive teaching and learning approaches, which were associated with higher levels of pupil engagement.
  • Schools with the highest proportions of disadvantaged pupils had the lowest levels of pupil engagement. This highlights the need to target support at the most deprived schools.
  • Teachers were particularly concerned about the education and welfare of their vulnerable pupils, and reported a lack of support from other agencies.
  • Teachers’ and leaders’ work satisfaction was related to their sense of control.
  • School leaders were facing considerable challenges in opening their schools more fully during the summer term, while ensuring social distancing.
  • Government, local authorities and trusts need to ensure that schools have sufficient resources and that new directives are sensitive to the pressures facing schools.

Sponsor Details

Nuffield Foundation