Coronavirus (COVID-19): impact of school building closures - equity audit

The report includes a synthesis of key local, national and international literature, supplemented with local evidence gathered from 54 schools across Scotland. The findings help deepen our understanding of the impact the pandemic has had on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


1 Where Parents is referred to in the Equity Audit, this includes carers.

2 Material published in English between 23/3/20 to 1/9/20, covering Scotland/devolved nations/UK-wide/Europe/International

3 National Foundation for Educational Research published a series of reports in June and July 2020 based on survey evidence gathered on the impact of Covid-19 in schools. A further publication in September 2020 reported on a survey exploring schools’ perceptions of challenges associated with returning to school on re-opening.

4 Child Poverty Action Group has published a range of UK wide studies on educational experiences during COVID-19 as part of the Cost of the School Day Programme. Survey results have also been published at Scotland level.

5 A follow-up ‘Lockdown Lowdown’ survey is planned by Scottish Youth Parliament, Youth Link Scotland and Young Scot.

6 Coronavirus (COVID-19): impact on children, young people and families - evidence summary October 2020 - (

7 Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland have published a series of research papers.

8 Children and young people in receipt of frontline support.

9 Different reports cited have used a range of terminology for the impact of COVID-19 on educational attainment, including the impact for children and young people affected by poverty-related disadvantage. This evidence review will seek to use terminology as it appeared in context within the evidence source referenced. For example, where the term ‘learning loss’ has been used in an evidence source, this will be stated in the associated narrative.

10 The EPI report ‘Education Policy Responses across the UK to the Pandemic’ was published on 9 October 2020 and was therefore outwith the literature search timeframe for this evidence review. It has however been included to aid comprehensive coverage given its high degree of salience to the period of school building closures.

11 K-12 – an American term that indicates the publically supported school grades prior to college (kindergarten and the 1st through to 12th grade).

12 Youth Link Scotland published a report in October 2020 into the role of youth work in supporting learning through summer 2020 with a focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. See learning-through-lockdown.pdf (

13 Detail on methodological approach at Annex A



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