Written evidence submitted by the Publishers Association
Publishers are offering a number of free digital resources to support home learning, and have seen a huge uptake from teachers, parents and pupils.
- One major publisher saw access to its flagship primary education platform grow by 4000% compared with this time last year.
- Another publisher served 10k requests for resources from its flagship online service on 22 March (pre-closures). On the 26 March (post-closure announcement), they served 200k resource requests.
- A third publisher saw growth for online phonics support grow by 2000% on the last year – demonstrating a real anxiety around early years reading.
- This publisher has also seen a 772% growth in parents accessing online story time videos targeting the early years on the previous year.
However, publishers are cautious that digital solutions are not suitable for everyone. Not all teachers have the capacity to create and distribute online content, nor can their pupils necessarily access digital resources. Other solutions must therefore be found through broadcasting, or through physical education materials like workbooks and textbooks.
- Polling of 200 schools by Pearson suggests that only ¼ of primary schools have delivered online lessons to their pupils.
- One publisher saw sales of physical home early readers rise by almost 600% on the previous year, indicating a significant demand for physical books in the early years.
- Customers have voiced concern around screen time, and a preference for physical books in order to minimise this.