Nobody can argue that the events of the last 12 months, has definitely led to disruption with basic Maths and English, as well as Functional Skills. There is a question mark however, over whether schools have been able to overcome these obstacles in order to ensure that learners stay on track? These are answers that many parents/guardians are looking for with some feeling that education has been on hold for many learners.

It came as no surprise that A Level and GCSE examinations were to be cancelled again in England for the summer 2021 series, however for many students it brought it’s own stress. Although many welcomed the fact that grades would be decided by teachers rather than exams being sat, others felt that this caused them anxiety, as the outcome of these examinations were completely out of their control. Most are resolved to the fact that whatever the outcome, they have done their utmost best and await the results.

Although for some types of employment, you will not use your English or Maths skills, employers still expect individuals to be educated to at least a level 2, before they will even invite them for an interview and applicants are finding that they may be disadvantaged because of this.

Many learners who would normally be looking to continue into full-time employment following completion of their GCSEs, must now consider other options available, such as apprenticeships, where they can continue to complete their Maths and English skills by way of Functional Skills or GCSE subjects. With the outlook of limited employment opportunities available, it is thought that colleges could become overwhelmed with applications from prospective students who would not normally be choosing this route to further their careers.

Pupils taken out of school even for short breaks are less likely to achieve good results in English, maths and science, according to DfE research. This makes for alarming reading; considering the impact Covid-19 has had on education in the past 12 months, particularly within early years settings.

Whilst the situation above may seem rather bleak, we must not forget the resilience of children and how they seem to bounce back in a way that most adults are unable to do so; returning to school after school closures as though they had never been away. We also have the optimism of Teachers who have been desperate to return to a school setting, where they can recommence face to face teaching, which is what they have been trained to do and why they signed up in the first place.

No doubt, over the next few years, the situation will unfold, and we will gain a better understanding of the effects of Covid-19 on basic skills and education; until then, it is business as usual with a lot of catching up.

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