Last Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Global responses to education recovery during COVID-19

What is this?

As a result of Covid-19 Scottish education faces great challenges. School and systems leaders are having to adapt to new ways of working. Along with these challenges there may be positive opportunities to change the way we lead and the way we support learning going forward in the recovery period.

It would be easy to assume we were all handling the challenges of this pandemic in the same way. Looking thinking, research and effective practice from around the globe in response to the current crisis may allow us to develop our thinking when seeking solutions to issues presented to us within our own contexts

Who is this for?

This resource is for leaders and educators who are planning and delivering support for learners and teams during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explore this resource

This web page illustrates some interesting approaches to support that have taken place at an international, national and local level and is by no means an exhaustive list.

International level

International research bodies, advisory boards and policy makers have produced numerous reports and guidance documents on the reopening of schools, blended learning approaches and opportunities for innovation and change in the recovery period.

National level - responses at national government level from around the world

Taking into account advice and evidence at International level, national governments have begun to put in place their own plans for the recovery period that take into account their contexts:

  • Education Scotland have produced a range of guidelines for delivering practical subject teaching during Covid-19. The guidelines are in line with scientific advice these will continue to be regularly reviewed.
  • In Scotland, the Scottish Government have a central hub where all COVID-19 related guidance and documents sits. You can find the ones related to ‘Schools, Education, Children and Young People’ on this page.
  • Guidance to educational settings in Northern Ireland has been published by the Northern Ireland Department of Education.
  • Policy Scotland is working in Partnership with the Norwegian Government to distil the current available school guidance on reopening schools and a concentration on operational examples, which might inform decision-making within the Scottish education system.
  • Policy Scotland have also produced a briefing paper which summarises some of the key practices developed in Denmark which reopened some provision on 15 April 2020. It distills the currently available guidance, and concentrates on those areas which might be the most appropriate now and which have implications for the Scottish education system.
  • This briefing by Policy Scotland reviews selected international evidence as to the benefits of, and barriers to, outdoor learning, and offers some points of reflection regarding how outdoor learning can be managed.
  • The Welsh Government has released guidance for Education including operational information for schools
  • The UK Government Department for Education has a central hub of guidance related to the reopening of Education and Childcare.
  • The South Australian Government has followed the advice from their Chief Public Health Officer and supported schools, preschools and early childhood services to remain open

Local level - responses at individual authority, organisation or school level from around the world

Across the world, individual education authorities, schools and organisations that promote learning have developed their own bespoke approaches to supporting learning communities during the recovery period.

  • The Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists has produced some resources to support children, particularly children with addition support needs, with the transition back into educational buildings.
  • A brave and reimagined new world? - This blog by Andrew Boulind focuses on the recovery from the effects of COVID-19 on education. Andrew currently works with Integrated Children and Family Services at Aberdeen City Council, and last year completed the Middle Leaders - Leading Change programme.

Note: where a web link is included, this is not an endorsement by Education Scotland. It is intended to illustrate the various range of approaches taken to the recovery period during COVID-19. This page will be updated as further examples emerge.

Improvement questions

  • How do I know what the specific needs are of practitioners, learners and families within my context?
  • How have practitioners' strengths in areas such as digital skills been utilised and what provision is available to support their ongoing learning?
  • How am I supporting the wellbeing of the learning community at this time, including my own?
  • What provision am I making for learners and families who have limited or no access to a digital solution?
  • How is my response taking into account short, medium and longer term considerations?
  • How am I working in partnership with others to learn from their experiences and promote a co-ordinated approach to support learning at home?