RSA Virtual Coffeehouse Conversation: Catching Students Up Without Widening the Gap - RSA

RSA Virtual Coffeehouse Conversation: Catching Students Up Without Widening the Gap

Fellowship events


Online via Zoom

  • Public Services & Communities
  • Rawthmells
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action
  • Global

In light of worldwide school closures, we have a chance to substantially change the education system for good.

The RSA Coffeehouse is opening its virtual doors to our global community of Fellows, friends, family and colleagues. Inspired by the origin of the RSA as an enlightenment coffeehouse 300 years ago, our Virtual Coffeehouse Conversations event series offers an interactive space for Fellows to share and discuss ideas for social change. This is an opportunity to find support and feedback from the Fellowship community, with conversation and connection at its heart.

Two RSA Fellows will discuss issues that resonate across the globe.

School closures will further widen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers by a possible 36%. It is clear that sustained support will be needed to help disadvantaged pupils catch up. So how can we provide catch-up provision and what might this look like? Can we really go back to ‘business as usual’ or is the crisis an opportunity for us to completely rethink how education should work and to establish a more humane way of educating children? Penelope Solomon FRSA will lead this conversation.

Research shows that networks of casual acquaintances can enhance happiness, creativity, knowledge and our sense of belonging. One of the challenges of teaching remotely is to imitate these communities by, for example, fostering an online community. Students will not only have missed the company of close friends. Jonathan Beale argues that learning catch-up should not come at the expense of a focus on emotional and social support; indeed, excessive focus on the former could exacerbate the need for the latter by increasing stress and anxiety. What kind of collaboration is needed to foster the community support required to address the challenges education faces after Covid-19?

The event will take place via the online conferencing platform, Zoom. You will receive the link to this meeting upon registering for the event, and again as a reminder 30 minutes before.

If you have questions about this event, please email Rachel Godin (Interim RSA Coffeehouse and London Events Manager) at [email protected] 


Please use the "Book Now" link above to receive joining instructions.