Written evidence submitted by Pearson
Pearson schools survey:
C-19 contingency and continuity planning
Feedback from the Pearson Pulse Survey (200 teachers and 200 parents, split evenly
between primary and secondary education); Pearson Research Community
discussion forum on COVID (of which over 100 teachers are giving daily feedback).
The survey findings cover the week of 23 to 27 March.
Primary & secondary school parents (survey among parents with children at
● Most parents report that their school is doing its best right now to maintain
the continuity of learning for their children.
● Parents report that the majority of offline and online resources they have
received from their school is designed for students to complete independently
or require their support to deliver. Top responses are as follows:
● Primary school parents report that their school has provided Worksheets
(67%), Activity Ideas (56%) and access to Online Interactive Resources (50%).
Only a quarter report that their school has provided online lessons delivered
by their child’s teacher.
● Secondary school parent report that their school has provided access to
Interactive Online Resources (55%), Worksheets (51%) and Online
Assessments (43%). 4 out of 10 parents report that their school is providing
online lessons with their normal teacher and another fifth report that their
school is providing online lessons for their child delivered by other teachers.
● Of the above resources provided by schools, secondary school parents say
worksheets are the most useful whereas primary school parents find the
interactive online resources for their children the most useful.
● In terms of support, primary and secondary school parents are seeking a
broad range of assistance, but the need is greater among primary school
● Support in ‘home schooling’ their children (65% primary vs 23% secondary
● Support in making most of online lessons (65% primary vs 41% secondary
● Support with ideas on how their child can keep themselves occupied during
the day (64% primary vs 31% secondary parents)
● Support with taking care of mental health of their child (62% primary vs 36%
● Support with ideas for safe social online activities their child can engage in
(62% primary vs 32% secondary parents)
● Among parents of children in Y11 and Y13 who were meant to be taking their
exams, half said that they would accept the predicted grades provided by
teachers and the other half said that they would get their child to retake the
exam once schools opened, if they were not happy with their predicted grade.
Primary school teachers & secondary school teachers
● Most teachers are feeling stressed and anxious, particularly secondary school
teachers. 78% of primary school teachers and 88% of secondary school
teachers report that they are finding it somewhat difficult to extremely difficult
to manage their personal and work-life balance. Many say they are struggling
to 'switch off'.
● Teachers are concerned about how to keep students engaged in learning
remotely. They are also concerned about children without access to digital
devices and those who do not have learning support at home (e.g. parents
may not be in a position to support them) and are concerned some children
will slip behind academically.
● Teachers report that there has not been sufficient direction or communication
from DfE and are left confused and unclear as to what they should be doing
with regard to the delivery of lessons and around exams. Many say they are
simply recapping and are not introducing any new themes or content to their
syllabus at the moment.
● Whilst two-thirds of teachers across both primary and secondary feel that their
school is well set up to deal with online learning, relatively few have switched
their entire timetable online. Only a quarter of primary schools and 37% of
secondary schools have transitioned their full timetable online. Most schools
have taken some or a small proportion of their timetable online and are
blending learning with traditional sources like text books and posting hard
copy study packs to student’s homes.
● Two-thirds of teachers across both primary and secondary report to being
confident about their ability to deliver classroom learning online. However,
fewer feel they are able to offer their students a comparable experience online
to what they would experience in the classroom (44% primary school teachers
and 43% secondary school teachers say this).
● The main challenges teachers face with online lessons is around their ability
to keep students' attention, mentioned by half of all teachers across primary
and secondary, and having enough materials and resources suitable for being
adapted for online delivery and consumption (mentioned by 4 in 10 teachers
across primary and secondary).
● Among teachers feeling less confident about delivering learning online, for
example delivering a class online via videoconferencing, online training and
tips are welcome, particularly among older teachers who may be less
comfortable/experienced with tech.
● There is some expectation among teachers that parents and students
themselves should take a degree of responsibility for the learning. In the
forum discussion, some teachers talk about “sharing the load” or that “the
burden” shouldn't solely be placed on them to ensure that students are doing
what they are supposed to be doing. Some teachers are feeling anxious that
students, particularly older students, are treating the situation as a
● Discussion forum chats reveal that assessment marking is a major concern.
Some feel the proposed DfE plan may not work and may benefit a certain set
of students. Some teachers feel that resources have been thrown at core
subjects like English and Maths whilst other subjects like MFL have been deprioritized.
Anecdotal feedback from schools
● A couple of schools are running live lessons on Teams. They are getting
between 40% and 60% login, these are focused on year 10, 1 lesson a day.
They have issued school laptops to year 10, 11 and 12 if pupils they did not
have them. 70% of their students do not have access to a dedicated computer
at home but do have access to a phone so they want app based learning tools.
The school is concerned that the most disadvantaged students are the ones
that are not engaging in the live lessons and they are the ones the trust is set
up to reach. They are concerned about a widening gap for the disadvantaged
over this period. The focus is on year 10 & 11. 12& 13 less so and the next
priority is Year 7.
● The biggest challenge for one school (but will be the case with many schools)
is keeping interest and momentum and finding different ways to support
students while not face to face.
● One school expressed concern around safeguarding. School acknowledged
that they will not be alone. Some of their learners are very vulnerable and that
needs to be managed internally, they also don't get support from parents or
are looking after siblings. The school has questioned whether it is fair to ask
for all the units in the cohorts that are currently in lockdown due to demands
on teachers and students and facilitating success. The school suggested that
It is worth considering an exam window in November time for students that
should have had the opportunity to resit / first sit exams, as January is going
to be difficult as their students will be sitting other units during the same
Other ideas/thought for consideration:
● Targeted funding for print-based solutions for disadvantaged students or to
be used in other environments during the summer period for “catch up”
● Targeted funding for disadvantaged students when schools do return
● Partnering with organisations to support delivering of learning through other
media including television to create coherence and progression for students
Submitted to Robert Halfon MP, Chair, Education Select Committee and committee