The Aldridge Foundation’s response to the new national lockdown
Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges are once again moving to remote learning from 5 January until, at least, February half-term. The reasons behind this decision are understandable, but it also indisputably heightens an already desperate situation for many young people.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on so many people across the UK. But millions of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately affected. The young people that the Aldridge Foundation supports are living in some of the most economically and socially deprived places in the UK. 46% of the children we support are eligible for free school meals.
After the first lockdown:
- The learning gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers in July 2020 was 46% bigger than it was a year earlier*
- More than half of teachers in the most deprived schools said pupils are four months or more behind*
*National Foundation for Educational Research 2020
A new lockdown will only make this learning gap worse. It also heightens continuing concerns about the safety, mental health and wellbeing of pupils, due to situations of domestic violence, abuse, or bereavement, and to increasing feelings of isolation, anxiety and loneliness. We will also see the economic effects of a further lockdown – worsening poverty, food insecurity and financial stress.
Now, more urgently than ever, the Aldridge Foundation is focused on:
- academic recovery – closing the learning gap through a virtual Catch-Up Academy
- resources to support students beyond school, bridging the gap into further education and the world of work
- equal access to digital distance learning
- the mental health and wellbeing of students and teachers.
Just before Christmas we relaunched our website to support and promote our ongoing work to raise aspirations and nurture employability and life skills and an enterprising mindset. But here you can also see the work we are doing to support young people through the Covid-19 pandemic and, more importantly, how you can help.
Unless we act now to offer extra support to children who are already playing ‘catch-up’, there will be a measurable, negative impact on educational attainment by the most disadvantaged. This impact on these young people’s life prospects could be immense and lasting.
Every £50,000 you can help us raise will help us to support around another 100 young people to have an equal chance at life. Please donate what you can, using the simple Donate button below. Every donation is greatly appreciated and will help us to support more disadvantaged children.