Teachers fear young people across East Midlands at risk of being left behind

East Midlands teachers are worried that children could be left behind if more action isn’t taken to support them with their speaking and understanding of language, after missing school due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 5:00 pm

That is the suggested outcome of a new online survey of teachers, published by I CAN, the children’s communication charity.

Speaking Up For The Covid Generation estimates 1.5 million UK children could be at risk of being left behind with their speaking and understanding.

Primary and secondary school teachers across the East Midlands about the impact Covid 19 has had on their pupils speaking and understanding. The findings show that the majority of teachers surveyed who had pupils who were behind with their speaking and understanding were worried about children being able to catch up with this.

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Teachers across the East Midlands are worried that children and young people could be left behind.
Teachers across the East Midlands are worried that children and young people could be left behind.

Of the primary and secondary school teachers surveyed from the East Midlands:

64 per cent of those who have pupils who are behind with their speaking and understanding thought that children and young people not being able to talk face-to-face with their friends during the pandemic had delayed their speaking and understanding skills

64 per cent of this same group also felt that using computers, tablets, phones during lockdown may be a factor in children and young people being behind with their speaking or understanding

55 per cent felt children and young people's speaking skills (aged four to 16) were progressing slower in comparison to before the pandemic

The report recommends some urgent measures such as the Government extending the speech and language help provided to reception classes to all ages, as well as longer-term measures to improve teacher training on speech and language and assessing children in speaking and understanding language as regularly as other skills such as writing, reading and arithmetic.Speaking Up for the Covid Generation has been produced in partnership with Afasic, Autism Early Support, Better Communication CIC, Commtap, Naplic, Talking Mats, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and Voice 21.

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