Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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 generated a central page to collate all their guidance and resources related to Covid-19. This page is continually under review and will be updated regularly.
  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge Equity Audit deepens the understanding of the impact COVID-19 and school closures had on children and young people from socio-­economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • The updated National Improvement Framework & Plan for 2021 sets out the vision and priorities for Scottish education that have been agreed across the system, and the national improvement activity that needs to be undertaken to help deliver those key priorities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Policy Scotland have produced a range of reports on the impact of Covid-19 on Scottish Education. Including the impact on migrant families, rural social exclusion and achieving equity post pandemic.

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

  • What Scotland Learned gives examples of innovative practice from learners, parents and educators in Scotland during the first lockdown period in March to August 2020. Ten stories were also collected by interviews carried out with academics and educational leaders.
  • See, Hear, Respond is a new Barnardo’s Service funded by the National Emergencies Trust. It provides an immediate response to children, young people and families anywhere in Scotland who need additional support to cope with the impact of coronavirus.
  • Barnardo's Education Community which is an online space, aimed at education professionals and other people who work in schools, where they can find trauma-informed resources, support and advice about how to help children and young people who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. There is also a dedicated area on the website to support staff with their own wellbeing.
  • Ten years on from the publication of Teaching Scotland's Future - Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland, Professor Graham Donaldson joined GTC Scotland for an online lecture to discuss the changes and challenges faced by Scottish education.
  • Director of Science, OGAT, Christine McGhie has written a blog detailing some very useful tips on checking pupil engagement and learning during live remote lessons

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.

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.

Reflective questions

  • How do we know what the specific needs are of practitioners, learners and families are within our contexts?
  • How have practitioners' strengths in areas such as digital skills been utilised and what provision is available to support their ongoing learning?
  • What provision are we making for learners and families who have limited or no access to a digital solution?
  • How is our response taking into account short, medium and longer term considerations?
  • How are we working in partnership with others to learn from their experiences and promote a co-ordinated approach to remote learning?