2021 white paper: The impact of school closures on spring 2021 attainment
Mainstream state schools in England show declines in attainment across all years in reading, maths and GPS. By the end of spring 2021, year-on-year declines in attainment are higher than those previously seen at the end of autumn 2020.
Key findings include:
- There were substantial drops in attainment between spring 2020 and 2021 across all subjects and year groups, more than twice the size of the drops seen at the end of autumn 2020.
- Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) and maths showed the largest declines, representing a gap of on average three months' progress across all year groups. Reading, on average, showed a two-month gap.
- Younger year groups, Years 1 and 2 in particular, generally showed bigger reductions in attainment than older year groups.
- Children attending schools in more deprived areas, and schools with higher proportions of children receiving free school meals, tended to show greater declines in attainment than their peers. Schools with a high percentage of children eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) experienced decreases in scores approximately twice as severe as schools with a low percentage of FSM eligible children.
- During the spring term, regional differences showed no consistent patterns across all year groups and subjects. This was in contrast to our previous findings at the end of the autumn term.
Read the full report
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