The impact of Covid-19 on schools in England: experiences of the third period of partial school closures and plans for learning recovery

Julie Nelson, Joana Andrade and Angela Donkin

30 April 2021

Between 12 and 17 March 2021, we invited NFER’s Teacher Voice panel to respond to eight questions about the impact of Covid-19 on their pupils and schools, and about the Government’s learning-recovery strategies.

A total of 1,535 panellists responded to the survey:

  • 573 (37 per cent) were senior leaders and 962 (63 per cent) were classroom teachers  
  • 251 (16 per cent) were based in secondary schools and 1,284 (84 per cent) were based in primary schools.

We applied weights to the data to ensure that the results were nationally representative at school level (primary or secondary), and in terms of school-level deprivation (measured by the proportion of the school’s pupils that were eligible for free school meals in 2019 (FSM ever)[1]).

Some of the survey questions were repeat questions from earlier surveys administered by NFER during the first and second periods of partial school closures. In order to make comparisons between the first and second datasets, and the new dataset, we had to account for the fact that teachers and senior leaders were surveyed separately in the first two surveys, whereas in the third survey, they were surveyed together.

We therefore applied teacher and senior leader weights, to ensure that the three datasets were comparable.

Please note that in the following charts, percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.