In April 2020 The Sutton Trust published a report looking at the impact of Coronavirus on social mobility.
Included were possible mitigation strategies open to schools and the government, to try to reduce any impact on the already wide attainment gap between the richest and poorest pupils as well as to protect their prospects for long-term social mobility.
Two key recommendations put forward by the report highlight the important role that Squash Squared has in helping to limit the impact of school closures on disadvantaged pupils.
The poorest children are likely to be the most impacted by time away from the classroom. Additional tuition to reduce the impact on their learning could be provided both online while schools and closed, and face to face when restrictions have loosened.
Disadvantaged students will be most likely to have fallen behind during closures, with those entering Year 7 at particular risk. Schools should put in place additional support for these students when it is safe for schools to return, either before other students are back, or alongside normal lessons when they resume.
Children’s attitudes to sport are mostly formed at school where they will be exposed to the usual mainstream sports. These can be dominated by the more talented, or fastest children which can be off-putting for those less able and negatively mould a child’s view toward sport generally, possibly for life.
There is no magic formula for keeping children engaged in sport. However, ensuring they encounter a broad range of sports such as Squash and have fun whilst playing, increases the likelihood of continued interest and also for them to remain physically active as they get older.
Class sizes at Squash Squared are on average less than half the size of those at school. Additional tutor support through our Independent School partnerships reduces the ratio of pupils to teachers even further and can be one on one, creating the optimal learning environment.
This arrangement of small group tuition supports lower attaining learners or those who are falling behind and is also an effective strategy to ensure consistent progress.
In a 2014 evaluation, Year 6 and 7 students made an additional three months’ progress with Switch-on Reading, a structured program involving small group tuition. Another intensive coaching program that involved one to one tuition had an average impact of five additional months’ progress on the individuals over the year.