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New evidence shows schools continue to face big challenges supporting socio-economically disadvantaged and low attaining pupils because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to a major piece of research published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) today, that tracks the longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on younger pupils’ reading and maths skills.

The study, by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), followed 6,000 pupils who were in Reception and Year 1 (four- to six-year-olds) in March 2020 until the spring term of 2022. It investigated how this group of pupils’ attainment and social skills had been affected by disruptions to learning.

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