Most primary teachers lack tech know-how, study warns

A lack of tech training for most Year 5 teachers may have added to lockdown learning loss, says report
10th December 2020, 4:12pm
Claudia Civinini

Share

Most primary teachers lack tech know-how, study warns

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/most-primary-teachers-lack-tech-know-how-study-warns
Coronavirus: Most Primary School Teachers Lack Tech Training, Says Nfer Report

In the year before Covid struck England, less than a fifth of the country's primary teachers had been trained to incorporate technology into their teaching, new figures suggest.

And researchers who have analysed the data are warning that this absence of training could have made schools less prepared to deal with the pandemic and worsened learning loss during lockdown.

"As schools closed, 82 per cent of pupils in England lacked teachers who had received professional development in integrating technology," a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research says.

"These pupils may, therefore, have been at higher risk of experiencing learning loss and a lack of engagement in remote learning."


Timss 2019: Top 10 England improves at primary maths

Global rankings: England's teachers 'should really be proud'

Revealed: Timss 2019's top countries in science and maths


The NFER has based its findings on data from the latest Timss (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), which was published this week and covered education in 64 countries.  

It found that 82.5 per cent of Year 5 pupils in England were taught by a teacher who lacked professional development in maths and technology.

Teachers 'urgently need tech training'

So only 17.5 per cent of 10-year-olds had a teacher who was trained in incorporating technology into maths instruction, which left England well below the international average of 35 per cent.

The NFER has concluded that: "Professional development in technology incorporation is urgently needed for teachers."

It also wants urges more done to understand how technology can be most effectively incorporated into teaching practice.

Angela Donkin, NFER chief social scientist, said: "The onset of Covid-19 has brought the lack of focus on training teachers to incorporate technology into their teaching into sharp relief, and it's concerning that we are lagging behind some of our international peers in this area.

"Globally, the impact of learning loss as a result of school closures is expected to be significant. These learning losses may contribute to socioeconomic gaps in pupil performance, where the abrupt shift to online learning exposed digital inequities in global education systems."

The research found no difference in the lack of maths and ICT training in teachers working in advantaged and disadvantaged schools.

But it did find a socioeconomic gap in access to learning technology.

The report found that Year 5 pupils in affluent schools in England were more likely to have access to computers.

Compared with their more disadvantaged peers, pupils in affluent schools were 34 percentage points more likely to have computers available for science lessons and 57 percentage points more likely to have teachers who used computers in the maths classroom at least once a week.

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters