IPPO Newsletter No5: announcing the launch of four DfE-commissioned Rapid Evidence Reviews into the full impacts of COVID-19 on the UK education system
Welcome to the latest update from the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO). In this newsletter, we highlight the impending release of our first set of Rapid Evidence Reviews – which pull together global evidence on the implications of COVID-19 for the UK education system – and give an update on IPPO’s other priority workstreams for the autumn.
Whether you are a policymaker, researcher or practitioner, we’d love to hear your ideas and questions relating to the pandemic – and in particular, how to work towards an inclusive recovery by tackling the socioeconomic inequalities that have been highlighted (and exacerbated) by COVID-19. Please email us now at email@example.com.
Rapid Evidence Reviews launch event
On Thursday 9th September, IPPO will launch our first set of Rapid Evidence Reviews at a special online event from 11am. Commissioned by the UK Department for Education following a recommendation from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), these reviews will present expert analysis of evidence from around the world on the full impacts of COVID-19 across the education sector, including potential mitigations for the future.
These reviews – all overseen by IPPO partner the EPPI Centre at UCL – have been compiled by specialist academic teams looking at the following groups and sectors:
- Schools and schoolchildren (Reception to Year 11);
- Parents and carers;
- Further Education sector and students;
- Higher Education sector and students.
The reviews will deliver insights on everything from mental health impacts on schoolchildren and parents, to inequalities of learning loss, to the impact on apprenticeships and future employment for FE students. The long-lasting effects of the pandemic demand exceptional responses, and these reviews are designed to help decision-makers throughout the UK understand the full implications of COVID-19, including a range of potential mitigations. To register for this launch event (and to receive an early version of the reviews under embargo), please use this Eventbrite link now.
IPPO’s online learning Systematic Review
At the end of September, we will be releasing IPPO’s Systematic Review of evidence into what has been learned about emergency remote education in secondary schools around the world during the pandemic – and what this could mean for the future of online learning in schools. Issues addressed by this global review of evidence will include:
- What gender differences related to remote learning have emerged during the pandemic?
- What benefits have been identified for previously unengaged or frequently absent students?
- What patterns have emerged regarding students who have struggled with online learning programmes?
- What impacts have there been on parental involvement in children’s education?
This Systematic Review will also discuss implications for the future role of online (asynchronous) learning, and the knock-on effects for what learning in the classroom looks like. For example, are we likely to see a shift towards a ‘higher education model’ at senior secondary level, in order to help produce lifelong learners? And what will be the role of in-built analytics in any new platforms that develop?
To ensure you receive this Systematic Review as soon as it is published, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org marked Online Learning.
Other IPPO priority workstreams for the autumn
We have been working hard to build on the many insights gathered from IPPO’s Action On Inequalities event in June. We have published blogs by Talat Yaqoob and Ashlee Christoffersen exploring how policymakers can take an intersectional approach to pandemic responses – and why this is crucial to ensuring an inclusive recovery. We have also heard important learnings from different marginalised communities about the problem of ‘consultation burnout’, and how to improve communication and re-establish trust as part of the recovery process.
We have established a number of priority workstreams for the autumn, and we encourage you to get in touch via email@example.com if you have questions or suggestions with regard to any of the following areas:
- What should a place-based approach to pandemic recovery look like, and how does this impact on the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ strategy?
- What is the role of basic income schemes in pandemic recovery, and how should pilots such as that proposed by the Welsh Government be designed?
- What strategies should be put in place to support young people and adults (as discussed in this recent blog by Fozia Irfan, a member of IPPO’s Advisory Group)?
- How should staff wellbeing be prioritised at an organisational level in frontline organisations such as the NHS – and what are the full benefits of doing this?
- What are the biggest data deficiencies in the UK care sector, and how can these be addressed to make this sector more resilient to any future crisis?
How should COVID inquiries be designed?
IPPO will also be tracking and reporting on COVID-related inquiries around the world as they get underway, as well as seeking to develop our understanding of the most constructive ways to design an inquiry for the benefit of all.
While the traditional model is a highly centralised, legalistic approach, other options range from truth and reconciliation processes, to no-fault compensation processes, through to academic analyses of events such as the 2007/08 financial crash. In all of these, there is an important question as to how evidence, research and knowledge should be used.
Another crucial question asks what would best help the relevant systems to learn the right lessons? This may be particularly relevant in a complex story like that of COVID-19, with many layers and a lot of uncertainty. If you have any inquiries-related insights that you would like to share with IPPO, or questions for us to explore, email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally …
We are always asking ourselves what COVID-19 has shown us about the nature of academic research – in particular for the social sciences. To help crystallise these questions, we commissioned two thought-provoking blogs:
- What has COVID-19 shown us about the importance of qualitative research?
- How has the UK’s research community been affected by COVID-19 – and what does this mean for social sciences?
Of course, it’s also helpful to think into the future about what the policymaking landscape will look like as the full impacts of the pandemic unfold – but it’s not easy, as this recent blog discusses:
Do please get in touch if this newsletter has sparked any further questions or ideas. With best wishes from the entire IPPO team.