The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has required schools to establish learning from home for the majority of children across Australia, bringing rapid rollout of online education. At this time, the main goal is to ensure that all children are able to continue to access learning and to move student learning forward. But not all children are equally well placed to do this. Some children are already at risk of school failure for a variety of reasons and having to learn from home brings with it some major additional challenges for them. Those at risk include a wide variety of students such as those who live in poverty, often characterised by low socioeconomic status, those with a disability or additional learning needs, students in rural or remote parts of Australia, and those who are Indigenous.
What will the effects on outcomes be for more vulnerable children of learning from home? Research to date gives us some clues and also points to why some children are more vulnerable in the home learning context, the numbers affected and what will need to be considered in working out what needs to be done in supporting the students who are most likely to struggle in the online setting.