Laura Sharman 18 May 2020

Think tank warns of growing educational gap during lockdown

Children from better-off families are spending more time on educational activities than those from the poorest households, a think tank has found.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warns that educational gaps are growing during lockdown.

It found that children from more affluent families are spending 30% longer on home learning than children from the poorest fifth of households.

The research, supported by the Nuffield Foundation, also found the schools of better-off students provide more resources for home learning.

Lucy Kraftman, research economist at IFS and an author of the report, said: 'There are significant differences in how children are spending their time during school closures. Children in lower-income households are spending significantly less time on both schoolwork and non-school learning activities than their better-off peers. Compared with children in the poorest fifth of families, those in the richest fifth are spending more than 75 minutes longer every day on work assigned by their school.

'Even for those pupils returning to school on 1 June, over the 34 school days that closures will have been in place, this will translate to a week and a half of full-time school.'

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