Children don't know how to listen or take turns after worrying impact of Covid pandemic, Ofsted reports

Children don't know how to listen or take turns after worrying impact of Covid pandemic, Ofsted reports
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Tom Evans

By Tom Evans

Published: 04/04/2022

- 13:15

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:28

Repeated Covid lockdowns have reduced social interactions among children, the National Association of Head Teachers noted

Schools, nurseries and colleges are still coping with the aftermath of lockdown, according to Ofsted.

Inspectors did note recent improvements, but said the pandemic has hindered children’s learning and personal development.

Attendance, wellbeing and behaviour were also listed as areas of concern.

Younger children in the study did not know how to take turns or listen.

And some schools said older children are now less likely to choose challenging subjects at GCSE or A-level.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY MARCH 10 File photo dated 08/02/12 of a primary school child at work in a classroom. A rising number of pupils lack the basic skills they need to start school, according to a new report. Issue date: Thursday March 10, 2022.
Early years development may have been hindered
Dominic Lipinski

File photo dated 12/09/18 of students in a lesson at school. Primary school teachers are having to buy books to stock their classrooms because of limited access to budgets, a new report reveals.
Children in school
Ben Birchall

Amanda Spielman, the Ofsted chief, said: “I’m particularly worried about younger children’s development, which, if left unaddressed, could potentially cause problems for primary schools down the line.”

Ofsted will publish the four briefings, the second in a set of reports exploring how students have recovered from the loss of learning over the pandemic, reports The Times.

Inspections of 70 early years providers in January and February found some institutions said that children had “limited vocabulary” while “some babies struggled to respond to basic facial expressions”.

Children have also missed out on having conversations or hearing stories.

Ofsted reports: “Children turning two years old will have been surrounded by adults wearing masks for their whole lives and have therefore been unable to see lip movements or mouth shapes as regularly.

“Some providers have reported that delays to children’s speech and language development have led to them not socialising with other children as readily as they would have expected previously.”

James Bowen, director of policy for the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Repeated lockdowns have meant that most younger children have had reduced social interaction and it is perhaps unsurprising that this has affected their emotional development, social and speech and language skills.

“Schools work incredibly hard to give pupils the extra support they need but they cannot do it alone.”

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