Pupil motivation is a significant concern, Ofsted study finds

Although remote education is helping to plug the learning gap during the Covid-19 pandemic, pupils’ engagement and motivation remain significant challenges for schools and parents, according to a new Ofsted report.

Published yesterday, the report found that nearly half of parents who responded to Ofsted’s survey said that keeping their child focused on studying was a top concern, along with motivation and having enough contact with teachers.

This view was echoed by school leaders, with many working hard to increase pupils’ engagement and to find better ways for pupils and teachers to interact.

The study also found that more than half of parents of a pupil with special educational needs said that their child has been disengaged with remote learning.

Whilst maintaining focus was of major concern to parents and leaders, three fifths of teachers surveyed said they were confident they were providing a high-quality remote education when this was needed. However, the study highlights that schools are at different stages of development, and there is wide variability in the remote learning on offer.

In response to the reports finding, her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:

“While remote education will help to mitigate the learning lost when children are out of the classroom, it’s clear that pupils’ motivation and engagement remain issues. These, along with the pressure remote learning places on teachers and parents, are proving real barriers to children’s learning and development.

“Despite the challenges, I am impressed by the flexibility and innovation shown by teachers and leaders involved in our research. I hope these insights will be valuable to schools that are still developing their own remote education offer.

“My thanks to all the teachers and school leaders across the country whose continued efforts mean that children can still receive a quality education, even in such difficult circumstances.’