Inequalities in home learning and schools’ provision of distance teaching during school closure of COVID-19 lockdown in the UK

Publication type

ISER Working Paper Series

Series Number



ISER Working Paper Series


Publication date

June 23, 2020


Parents and schools were caught unprepared during the COVID-19 school closure. Since schools have a key role in creating equal opportunities, transferring schooling to families is likely to increase learning inequalities. Using the Understandings Society COVID-19 dataset, we find children who received free school meals, children from lower-educated and singleparent families and children with Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds devote significantly less time to schoolwork at home. Schools’ provisions of offline and online distance teaching and homework checking significantly increase the time children spend on home learning and mitigate most of the disadvantages.



Referenced by: Leahy, F., Newton, P., and Khan, A. (2021) ‘Learning during the pandemic: quantifying lost time. Report 2 of 5 on learning during the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’. Coventry: Ofqual ; Suleman, M., Sonthalia, S., Webb, C., Tinson, A., Kane, M., Bunbury, S., … Bibby, J. (2021) 'Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery. The COVID-19 impact inquiry report'. London: The Health Foundation.

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