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Pillar 3 report: what can be done to maximise educational outcomes for children and young people experiencing disadvantage?

Learning through COVID-19: maximising educational outcomes for Australia’s children and young people experiencing disadvantage
COVID-19 Disadvantaged students Educational achievement Educational quality Online learning Remote teaching Student welfare Educational evaluation Australia

This report presents evidence-based options for action to inform policy and programmatic solutions. The solutions identified throughout the Learning through COVID-19 project target those elements of the system of educational disadvantage directly impacted by COVID-19 and are thus most likely to be successful in countering the disruptive effects of the pandemic.

In response to COVID-19, most of the world’s student population was impacted by transitions to remote learning. COVID-19 has also significantly affected families’ health and socio-economic circumstances. Some children and young people already experiencing disadvantaged circumstances may be at greater risk of poorer educational outcomes than they would have been had the pandemic not occurred.

The Institute for Social Science Research, at the University of Queensland, undertook a study, funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, to explore the impact on learning through COVID-19.

The Learning through COVID-19 project was structured across three interrelated stages of work (Pillars 1 to 3) that were designed to inform solutions to address worsening educational disadvantage. Pillar 1 provided a rapid assessment of educational disadvantage in Australia prior to the pandemic, and Pillar 2 examined the lived experience of COVID-19 on Australia’s children, young people and families experiencing disadvantage, its impact on their educational outcomes and engagement with school, and the response to COVID-19 of service providers. Pillars 1 and 2 showed that COVID-19 has had varying multifaceted impacts on educational disadvantage.

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