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The impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services

Sharing our evidence with parliament


19 Jun 2020

Latest update

29 Jun 2020

In response to the present conditions, EIF has made submissions to two parliamentary committees looking at the impact of Covid-19 on services for children and families: the Commons education committee and the Lords public services committee.

EIF submission to the Commons education committee


EIF submission to the Lords public services committee



Key points from EIF's submissions

  • School closures, social distancing and the lockdown have seriously affected the ability of services to support children and families at the very time that these families are facing even greater challenges.
  • Local services have responded flexibly and innovatively, moving rapidly to virtual or digital support for children and families. We currently know very little about the effectiveness of these adapted services. It is vital that the lessons from this period of innovation and rapid adaptation are learnt, and that decisions about longer-term changes to service delivery models are informed by testing and evaluation of the impact of these approaches on the lives of children and families.
  • As lockdown conditions are eased, schools and early years provision reopen and universal services start to operate more normally, we expect the full extent of the impact of the pandemic on the lives of vulnerable children and families to come to light. It is highly likely that this will lead to a rapid increase in referrals to children’s social care and other acute services.
  • It will also mean that many more families will need help to prevent children falling behind in aspects of their development before problems become entrenched and harder to resolve. We expect a significant spike in referrals to early help. Early intervention and early help must be an integral part of the recovery from Covid-19.
  • Local authorities must be funded to a level that enables them to meet their statutory child protection duties but also to run fully functioning early help and wider family support services that can mitigate escalation into statutory services as we enter the recovery phase.

About the author

Stephanie Waddell

Steph is assistant director for impact and knowledge mobilisation at EIF.