Despite schools being shut in Sydney for more than 12 weeks during the Delta outbreak, new research has found the average student has not fallen behind pre-pandemic achievement levels. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Centre for Independent Studies research author Glenn Fahey said he drew on a wide range of data, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and NAPLAN results, to make the cautiously optimistic finding.
Mr Fahey said the “picture is better than we initially feared”.
The report estimates that if Australian students had progressed as slowly as their peers in other countries such as France and Italy, then the average Australian student would be the equivalent of 6.6 weeks behind in reading and numeracy — and as much as 19.4 weeks behind in Victoria.
Mr Fahey says Australia’s relative success can be attributed to students being responsive and tech-savvy, solid teaching practices and schools and government bodies ensuring children had access to technology.
While assessments held in New South Wales schools when students returned to class after last year’s lockdown showed some had fallen two to three months behind in maths and literacy, NAPLAN results from May this year showed Australian students’ literacy and numeracy skills held steady.
The research findings could help schools and policy-makers make decisions and allocate resources during pandemic recovery and to focus on re-establishing students’ social skills, he said.
Students’ academic skills survive remote learning, study finds (By Jordan Baker and Anna Prytz, Sydney Morning Herald)