Schools and parents turn to virtual tuition as children risk falling behind by a year

Virtual tuition provider Whizz Education has seen an increase of up to 50% in use of its maths platform by schools in the wake of the coronavirus showdown.

Demand for online tuition services has increased dramatically as teachers and parents seek to prevent pupils from falling behind by up to a year in key subjects like maths.

In addition to many schools being closed since March, experts say maths knowledge can also typically regress by up to three months over July and August due to a ‘summer slide’ caused by lack of practice.

However, the Maths-Whizz programme from London-based Whizz Education can be used at home is certified by kidSAFE. It utilises AI to teach children, whilst mirroring the behaviour of a human tutor, and individual parents as well as schools can access it.

Richard Marett, CEO of Whizz Education, which supplies Maths-Whizz, said “We have seen an increase in usage of up to 50% in some schools in the UK since the onset of the school lockdown. Many parents are rightly concerned about their child’s education. They need professional support if home schooling is to be effective.

“There is strong evidence that a gap in teaching a subject like maths can actually result in a pupil’s knowledge of that subject regressing. It’s a double whammy, because not only does the child stop learning, but their progress can actually go backwards.

“For this reason, schools normally face a challenge catching up even at the best of times in September, but this year things will be far more difficult. Schools will need to deploy remediation programmes to reduce long term lost learning following reopening.”

Research shows that just 60 minutes of online tuition per week over the course of a year can boost a child’s maths ability by the equivalent of 18 months learning.

A recent report from RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education) revealed that the time spent by children at home during lockdown could result in more than a full year’s worth of learning loss.

St Michael’s VA Junior School in Norwich is among schools in the UK that are using online programmes such as Maths-Whizz, which Teacher Kate Hardy said: “It provides us with the opportunity of ensuring that all our children are receiving maths lessons and activities, which are bespoke to them. All children work at their own level and access the work in their own time. This personalised learning is far more beneficial for our pupils than being set a generic lesson.”