New longitudinal study of pupil attainment and wellbeing

We’re pleased to announce we have a grant from the Nuffield Foundation to carry out a research project on The longer-term impact of COVID-19 on pupil attainment and wellbeing. This important project will allow us to examine the impact of school closure on the academic progress and well-being of primary school aged children and extend the publication of white papers showing the summary of findings over the coming year.  

The last 18 months we have worked with Dr Timo Hannay of SchoolDash to analyse trends in primary school attainment in reading, maths and grammar, punctuation and spelling using the aggregated dataset of PIRA, PUMA and GAPS test results. These important papers have provided timely evidence to help inform policy and the teaching profession in the absence of national testing for primary aged children. The published papers can be found here.

We applied for funding to allow us to carry on and broaden this analysis over the coming year as schools return and national testing resumes. We wanted to broaden the research to look at the long-term impact rather than solely term-by-term, to provide a more complete picture of the effects of lockdown and the recovery trajectory in terms of attainment in sub-groups of pupils and schools. We also intend to look at how children’s wellbeing may mitigate or exacerbate the impact of school closure by analysing a separate dataset from our Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning Survey. Using these large, aggregated datasets allow us to more quickly provide insights to inform evidence-based interventions.  

Dr Kristina Milanovic will be leading the data analysis and will be working closely with Dr Timo Hannay of SchoolDash and Professor Clare Wood of Nottingham Trent University to answer the research questions set out in the funding proposal. We have a wide group of advisors who will be consulted throughout the project, these range across DFE, universities and other researchers.  

You can see more about the project here

If you would like to hear first about updates on the research, or if you’re a senior leader in a school and you would like to work with us to ensure our analysis and outputs are providing insights that support you, please do get in touch with us at, quoting Nuffield stating your interest in the project.  

The project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit 

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