The lockdown experiences of pupils in England

  • Feelings of loneliness were widespread, especially among older pupils. Up to Year 8, around a third of respondents reported feeling lonely "a bit" or "very often", but for Years 12 and 13 it was more than half, with 20% or more saying that they felt lonely "very often"
  • Secondary pupils were much more likely than primary pupils to say that their schools had not provided sufficient wellbeing and mental-health support, with around 20% of respondents in Years 9-12 saying "not really" or "not at all". Around 30% of secondary pupils (compared to 50-60% of primary pupils) said that they received plenty of mental-health support.
  • Among secondary pupils, girls reported lower average levels of life satisfaction than boys of the same age. However, this effect preceded school closures and, if anything, the gender gap narrowed during lockdown.
  • Schools with high proportions of poor pupils tended to have more respondents who reported spending only a short time on homework, or unhappiness about homeschooling. However, self-reported happiness among these schools tended to increase during lockdown while among schools with low proportions of poor pupils it fell.
  • Among primary pupils, feeling comfortable at home was the most significant factor contributing to overall happiness. Among secondary pupils, it was (absence of) loneliness.

Figure 1: Response rates by pupil type
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Notes: Since the survey was anonymous, the numbers of responses shown do not necessarily correspond to unique pupils: obvious duplicate submissions have been filtered out, but multiple responses from the same pupil are possible and at least one school is known to have surveyed its pupils twice during the lockdown period. A high proportion of FSM pupils means 15% or more, while a low proportion means below 9%.
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
Figure 2: Average life satisfaction score (0-10) by year group and gender
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
Figure 3: Average life satisfaction score (0-10) by pupil type
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Notes: See notes to Figure 1. Year groups with fewer than 100 respondents in either month have been omitted.
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
Figure 4: Responses to questions by year group
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
Figure 5: Responses to questions by proportion of FSM pupils at school
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
Figure 6: Correlation of responses to questions with overall life satisfaction
Sources: EduKit Homeschool Survey conducted April-July 2020; SchoolDash analysis
Sample size: 12,917 responses.
  1. The proportion of female respondents fell from 59% in May to 56% in June. The proportion of secondary respondents rose from 81% to 85%. The proportion of respondents from schools with low or medium FSM rates rose from 67% to 68%.

 

Viral tweets

Figure 1: Number of daily tweets from the UK mentioning schools
Sources: Twitter; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 2: Common terms in UK tweets about schools
Sources: Twitter; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 3: Topics mentioned in UK tweets about schools
Sources: Twitter; SchoolDash analysis.
  1. Build an AI capable of parsing human sentences and inferring the emotions of the people who wrote them.
  2. Look at the emojis.

Figure 4: 'Net Emoji Score' of daily tweets from the UK mentioning schools (7-day moving average)
Sources: Twitter; SchoolDash analysis.
  1. This uses a relative scale in which 100 is set to the mean daily activity during January; we don't know the absolute numbers because this analysis is based on a sample of tweets provided by the Twitter API. We further limit the sample to tweets geolocated within or close to England that mention schools.

 

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