The UK Government sought to respond to lockdowns and lost learning during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in multiple ways, including replacing cancelled examinations and compensating for lost learning through a National Tutoring Programme. In the case of the former, the system failed to realise the demands of equity by privileging wealthier students and beating a path back to a flawed ‘normality.’ In the case of the latter, while the idea of providing targeted, high quality small group and one on one tutoring to the most in-need students was well-conceived, implementation was a failure - particularly following its contracting out to a large outsourcing company. These two cases demonstrate that English education policy is adherent to a neoliberal conception of education equity, and that attempts to address inequalities are constrained, backfire, or both.


© 2023 Kippin S. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Kippin, S. 2023, 'Educational equity in England: the shortcomings of the UK Government’s COVID-19 response', Routledge Open Research, 2, article no: 24. https://doi.org/10.12688/routledgeopenres.17904.1

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Last updated: 19 September 2023
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