IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE project to examine the challenges teachers face during lockdown

29 May 2020

A new project exploring the challenges teachers face in weighing their duty to teach and duty of care during lockdown has been launched at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Teacher speaking to pupil in class

Led by Professor Gemma Moss, the team will examine the diverse roles primary schools play in their local communities and how these vary depending upon levels of social disadvantage.

In particular, the study will look at how actions taken during the crisis are leading primary schools and their staff to reconsider how they can best support their communities, particularly those living in disadvantage, and rethink what is most important in teaching and learning, with a focus on the literacy curriculum.

The project aims to inform decisions that will need to be made about how schools resume 'business as usual' post lockdown, including any implications for high stakes tests and inspection. It will also consider the legacy from the crisis about shared purposes and values in education going forward, once schools fully reopen.

Professor Moss and the team will collect data from teacher surveys, from online conversations on what schools should be doing during the crisis, and from a rapid evidence assessment of the peer-reviewed research literature. The latter can contribute to understanding the impact of school shutdowns in the areas of most concern in the public conversation.

Professor Moss said: “Given the diversity and intensity of experiences among teachers during the COVID-19 crisis, we think it is important to understand how their educational priorities may have evolved and what contribution this could make to shaping the future of primary school education going forward.”

This research has been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of their call to address the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The project, ‘A duty of care and a duty to teach: educational priorities in response to the COVID-19 crisis’ runs for four months, from 19 May to 8 September 2020.