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Youth Voice: School Catch Up Survey

We asked over 5,000 young people aged 11-19 how the government should support them to catch up on the education they have missed…

Recently, the Jack Petchey Foundation hosted a series of digital meetings between young people, MPs and London Assembly members to discuss young people’s experience of lockdown and their hopes for the future.

From one of the discussions in these sessions, the Foundation put together a brief survey about what young people feel they have missed out on educationally since schools closed in March 2020 and how they can be better supported in the future. We hope that the results of this survey will feed into the formation of the UK Government’s Catch Up Premium and that young people’s thoughts, opinions and experiences will be taken into consideration.

Download the Report


What do young people feel they have missed out on?

66% of young people miss interactive learning, such as group work and exercises

54% feel they don’t understand new content or what they need to do to complete their course of study

43% feel they have missed out on the opportunity to sit exams and so do not feel prepared for this sort of assessment in the future

41% do not know how well they are performing in tests and exams

What do they think will help them catch up?

We asked young people which of the following support options would be useful to them…

55% felt a reduced curriculum would be a good way to support students

Almost half think tutoring in small groups would be beneficial

42% want more textbooks and revision resources

42% want to see increased support with mental health

1 in 3 think 1-to-1 tutoring for students who need it most

31% said online revision sessions

One quarter said better access to a laptop and the internet

One in five want the opportunity to repeat the year

17% would like an extra hour of school each day once schools return

9% think that school over the summer holidays would be beneficial

When asked which one option they think the government should invest in to support school students, 1 in 3 respondents said reducing the school curriculum and only examining certain subjects would help most.

“It is important to reduce the curriculum and content of what we will be examined next year as we have missed out on an extraordinary amount of time at school.” 

– Sarina, Barking & Dagenham

However, the variety of answers and suggestions made by the young respondents suggests that a variety of responses needs to be made to support each and every student to fill their potential.

“Unfortunately a ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ to this problem does not exist; there is no point trying to find one. Also, there are many kids out there who just need the help so they can get to the same level as their peers – their economic/home situations should never be an obstacle to their success.”

– Fizza, Brent

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What can you do to help spread the word?

If you are a student…

Write to your MPclick here and type in your post code to find your MP’s email address and email them our report about the support young people have identified that they need in schools, and add your thoughts of how school students can be better supported to catch up on the education they have missed.

Send this to your teachers – some of the changes identified in this survey can be made within school to improve student’s educational experience, by sharing it with your teachers they can go on to inspire improvements in how the school teaches in lockdown and benefit other students in your school.

If you are a teacher…

Share with your School Leadership Team – there are some great insights here not only about how young people would like to be supported, but what they feel they are missing in remote education. Some of these insights might help improve your school’s current system to better benefit the students.

Write to your MPclick here and type in your school’s post code to email your MP directly with these results and ask them what they plan to do to support schools in the local area.

Share these results on your school’s social media – let’s spread the word and raise young people’s voices!

If you are a youth leader…

Send this research on to parents and young people in your network – we want young people’s voices to be heard by as many people as possible.

Share on your social media – let’s raise youth voice together!

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