Impact of Covid-19 on Children’s Language, Education and Socio-Emotional Skills (ICICLES)

The Covid-19 pandemic led to significant disruption to children’s education. Emerging evidence suggests that children have suffered learning losses in maths and English, and concerns have been raised about their language development and socioemotional development.

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Summary & aims

This project will explore the impact on Covid-19 on children in Reception, Year One and Year Two over a three year period.


This study uses a sequential design, recruiting children in three year groups and testing them on multiple occasions.  We will recruit children in Reception, Year One and Year Two, and ask teachers to administer a language assessment and an assessment of socioemotional wellbeing at two time points in the academic year 2021/22.  These tests will be repeated each academic year for children still in KS1 until all of the children have reached Year Two.  We will also obtain their scores on statutory assessments where possible from the National Pupil Database and compare these to a prepandemic cohort.

In addition we will collect data from parents via surveys and from schools via surveys and interviews.  This will allow us to gain a rich understanding of the impact of the pandemic on young children.

More information is available about the project on the ICICLES website.

Findings and Recommendations

See provisional report here.

Principal Investigator


Private: Johnny Runge
Principal Social Researcher
Private: Cecilia Zuniga-Montanez
Postdoctoral Research Associate