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What do we mean by 'mapping'?

Participatory Mapping = 'an interactive approach that draws on local people's knowledge, enabling participants to create visual and non-visual data to explore social problems, opportunities and questions' (Pathways Through Participation, 2010: 2).

Mapping literacy practices: Maps 'invisible resources, such as knowledge and feelings', embodies 'social purposes and values' and is part of a constantly changing context 'both spatial and temporal' (Hamilton, 2000).

Collaging: 'Often, I can see it before I can say it. I can sense it before I can make sense of it linguistically' (Clark-Keefe, 2009).

How to run a Mapping Workshop

Mode: In-person
Timeframe: 3 hours
Location: Within school

Workshop Overview and timings
Running a mapping workshop - 5 stages
1. Pre-workshop preparation

1.1. Identify/train 3 facilitators.
1.2. Prepare participant information and consent forms.
1.3. Recruit participants.
1.4. Collect resources.
1.5 Identify suitable/accessible room - space for group work and to create a gallery.

2. 'Mapping' in groups: parents/carers, young people, teachers

Groups create 'artefacts' - rivers/collages.

Introduction and ethical guidance - 10 mins

3. Exhibition

Artefacts are 'galleried' around the workshop space.
Groups interact with the artefacts using 'emoji stickers'.

Up to Mapping 60 minutes

4. Reflection/review

Groups reconvene and discuss experiences of viewing supported by a facilitator.
Facilitators collate key points.

30 minutes

5. Plenary Discussion

Facilitators share summaries with wider group.
Introduction to Maker-space workshops.

50 minutes

Participant requirements:

  • Minimum 10 young people
  • Minimum 5 teachers
  • Minimum 5 parents

Preparing the Invitation

You will need to consider:
  • Location - in the ethical application we have said we will use schools to maximise participation from teachers and young people and support safeguarding
  • Room/space and access issues (who are your participants and what are their needs? Does anyone need disabled access)
  • Dietary requirements for snacks and refreshments
  • Timing of meetings to suit parents and carers
  • Language needs - who will help out with translation? Young people? Parents? Support workers in school?
  • Manage consent

Gathering resources...

Potential resource
Young People,
Spaces/places (online/offline),
gaming spaces,
'view from my window'
Rolls of paper for each group
Scissors, glue, tape etc
Public information documents
Images that can work as metaphors for thoughts/feelings (affective responses)
Community Assets
Social Media

Setting the Scene and preparing

  • Think about how the groups will be located in the room, be mindful of giving groups space to talk without being too overheard.
  • Welcome participants to the session.
  • Introduction to the session supported by 'welcome cards' and poster prompts around the walls that groups can add to prompt other groups before the mapping work begins. The purpose of the prompts is to get participants thinking as widely as possible about what learning is, what it looks like, where it takes place and who it takes place with so that they can be very thoughtful about what 'counts' as learning. Introduction to the activity and how to work with the materials.
  • Provide refreshments and allow for thinking, chatting and 'mulling over' time.
  • Ensure each group has a facilitator.

What do we mean by "learning"?

Example information card (complemented by poster prompts with translanguaging prompts)
We're really interested in finding out about your experiences as a young person, parent/care-giver, teacher of learning (or supporting schooling) through school closures.
We encourage you to think about learning in the widest possible sense.
You people might like to think about: Experiences of schooling (as a teacher, as a student, as a parent), informal learning, hobbies, learning about life, contributing to your family or community, playing on line, cooking, keeping in touch with friends, sport and exercise, faith practices, volunteering, shopping, health and wellbeing, caring for others, balancing home/work/home schooling, gardening, spending time or looking after pets, music, social media.

Supporting interaction

Artefacts are 'galleried' around the workshop space - make sure they are spread around the room in a way that allows individuals/groups to interact with them without over-crowding.
Groups interact with the artefacts and register 'reactions' and 'questions' with post-it notes and emojis.

Facilitating reflection and review

Move back into groups (parents, teachers, young people)
  • What did you notice when you viewed the collages? What surprised you? What shocked you? What moved you? Made you feel happy/sad? Did you have any other strong reactions?
  • How did you feel about other groups' reactions to your collages? What sort of questions have they raised with you?
  • What have you learned about your experiences and the experiences of others through this process?
  • What have you learned about learning? To what extent have your ideas about learning and what 'counts' as learnings evolved, changed or been challenged?

Sharing the outcomes of reflection and review

  • Groups agree with facilitator the key issues and ideas that they would like to share with the wider group (keep these focused on young peoples' learning).
  • Facilitators share summaries with wider group
  • Opportunity for further discussion between groups
  • Making connection to and introducing maker-space workshops
  • Close

Role of the Facilitator

Facilitator should stay with their group for the duration of the mapping.
The facilitator should:
  • Keep the discussion focused around young peoples' learning.
  • Take field notes to support later discussion.
  • Listen and hear stories to give validation and ensure participants feel heard but make ethical decisions about which stories get shared with the wider group.
  • Prepare for the plenary sessions by agreeing with the group what they want to share with the wider group.

Follow up work

Photograph all collages and contributions.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations: working with young people, marginalized groups
Avoiding harm and providing benefit (possible risks: time lost, psychological or emotional distress, safeguarding, breach of confidentiality, negative impact from research report but can be fun, learning opportunity, collaborative opportunity).
Ensuring Informed consent, autonomy and working with gatekeepers (access letters, participant information and consent forms. Info sheets and consent forms can be emailed to parents who express an interest in participating so they could read/share them with their children and help them make a decision about whether they want to take part in the research. Children to understand they can withdraw at any time or change their mind about participating. Confirmation of consent ongoing and continually re-assessed.
Safeguarding (risks posed to young people and researchers).
Protecting confidentiality, anonymity and privacy.
Minimising bias.
Chapter 4 in Brady (2018) Social research with children and young people: a practical guide, Policy press

Ethical procedures - Gaining Consent - requirements
  • Appropriate Authority for School (in UK this is the Head teacher) - permission of access form – to access school sites and participants.
  • Teachers - Participant information form and consent form and access form from head teacher.
  • Parents - Participant information form and consent from and access form from head teacher.
  • Children (under 18) - participant information & consent form.

In summary

In the maker-spaces young people will work directly with artists to develop and practise new creative skills that will enable them to tell their own stories in their own way and in formats that enable them to make their voices, concerns, priorities and aspirations about their education and future lives heard by professional and public audiences.
Young people will be able to explore their own sense and experiences of learning and risk in safe spaces which is especially important in the current climate where many families are experiencing new levels of precarity and vulnerability due to Covid-19. Teachers will also participate in these workshops, so that they can experience maker-space philosophy in action, gain confidence using arts-based skills and build new pedagogical knowledge that will feed into their ongoing practice.
A key innovation of CoMAP project is the involvement of local artists. Artists and teachers will also be able to exchange knowledge, which will be mutually beneficial.
The approach of making graphic art as an arts-based practice and skill with the potential to be used subsequently by the teachers involved within their future practice is also a pedagogic innovation.

Setting the Scene and preparing

As an outcome of working in maker spaces:
  • Young people will have the opportunity to learn new creative skills and to tell their stories to a wider public audience. Publishing their work will raise self-esteem and enable them to see the value and importance of their stories in shaping public debates. It will also give them an insight into the creative process and the pathway from idea to publication.
  • Teachers will have a better understanding of the importance of art education and more developed pedagogic skills and confidence to deliver arts-based exercises.
  • Due to the knowledge exchange, artists will become more involved in the local community and education, new possibilities of partnerships and opportunities for future collaborations will open up.

1.1. Purpose

The purpose is to provide with guidelines on the preliminary training of artists and the necessary administrative, technical and professional tasks before implementation of the maker-space workshops.
The guidelines presented here can be adapted to the background and special needs of the participants. Possible limitations of implementation caused by COVID-restrictions are to be considered.

1.2. Organizer tasks

1.2.1 Organizer tasks

  • Recruit artists with experience in any kind of visual arts (e. g. graphic arts, painting, animation, photography). Having experience in teaching or working with socially disadvantaged groups is preferable, but not strictly necessary.
  • Consider the number of children and calculate the number of participating adults (artist, teacher, co-facilitator, helper) so that there is one adult for 3-4 children.
  • Prepare consent forms for participants.
  • Prepare an attendance list.

1.2.2 Technical tasks

  • Prepare the venue so that there is a large enough space for all participants to sit in a big circle and also tables and chairs to form smaller groups.
  • Prepare the listed tools in the necessary numbers (so that each participant has one).
  • Make sure the used newspapers/magazines are of acceptable quality and appropriate for the participants (try to avoid using tabloids with questionable values).
  • Make sure the participants are not hungry when they arrive to the workshop. If necessary, prepare healthy snacks and drinks to be consumed before or after the workshop (but not during working).

1.2.3 Professional tasks

  • Gather information from the local coordinator about the participants (family background, special needs, competencies, mother tongue and language skills).
  • In case of participants with special needs, make sure there is a professional helper present to aid each such participant.
  • Organize a preliminary training with the artists before the maker-space workshops.

This workshop is based on an atmosphere of safe space and co-operation that is very difficult to create in an online format. If the regulations still make the school areas unavailable, alternative spaces (e.g. community centre) or even outdoor places should be considered. In case of an outdoor workshop, make sure there are enough rugs to sit on and clipboards to work on.
The maker-space workshop might start or end with the participants having a light snack, this is not included in the 90 minutes.

The activities might be a bit longer than described in the workshop plan, but do not let participants linger too much or worry over details.

Make sure that participants know how much time they have for each activity and remind them of the time regularly while they are working.

You can give a few extra minutes, but make sure they know that the others are ready. If they feel they need much more time to finish their artwork, discuss the possibility of leaving the artwork with the teacher/coordinator so that they can finish it later, but try to agree on an exact time in the near future (e. g. the next day, after school) when they can finish it, preferably under adult supervision.

Do not let students take their artwork home with the promise of bringing it back without making photographs of it. You might never see these works again.

4.1 Gather information about the work experience and skills of the artists

Adapt the length and depth of the preliminary training according to the information you have gathered. Even if the artists have teaching experience and/or working experience with vulnerable groups, it is necessary to establish rules of conduct. Do not accept previous experience as a dispensation from a preliminary training.

4.2 Give information

Share the information you have about the participants (family background, special needs, competencies, mother tongue and language skills). Highlight any aspects which might cause problems during implementation, encourage the artists to ask questions and to express their concerns.

4.3 Define short-term and long-term goals

It is important to explain the short-term and long-term goals of the workshops so that the artists understand their tasks clearly. Over-enthusiastic artists might go overboard and have too high expectations that could backfire.

4.4 Rules of conduct

Establish clear rules of conduct and communication. Explain that sharing personal information (e. g. phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts) is discouraged. Personal boundaries are important, because vulnerable children tend to form attachments easily and can be later disappointed when their feelings are not reciprocated. All communication between participants and artists is to be conducted via the organizing partner. Sensitive information learnt during the workshops (e. g. abuse) is to be shared with the project leader who will act according to the established safeguarding regulations. See more about this in "Situations".

4.5 Situations

Mention the possible situations (see in Annex) to the artists and ask them how they would react. Discuss their answers together.

4.6 Organize an informal meeting of the artists, teachers, helpers and facilitators

No theoretical training can be as useful as getting to know the people who work with our target group. Encourage them to learn each other's name and to share their own experiences of COVID. It is useful to invite the teachers to the artists’ training and to ask them to comment on the situations. This way, they can mutually agree on how to help each other and what rules to follow.

5.1 Introduction, short summary 5'

Introduce the artists, the facilitators. In a few sentences, describe what is to be expected even if you had the consent forms signed earlier.

5.2 Ice-breaker activity 5'

Depending on the energy level of the group, use an energizing activity or an activity that helps with concentration (see Annex for examples).

5.3 Visual introduction 25'

  1. The facilitator puts 15-20 laminated cartoon pictures on the floor or on a table (see Annex). Participants choose one they like. Each person explains their choice.
  2. Participants form groups of 3-4. Each group is accompanied by an adult coordinator. They make up a story of their individually chosen pictures, arranging them in a sequence on a large piece of paper, adding drawings, speech or thought bubbles or writing captions. The adult coordinator helps by asking open questions, but does not influence the story in any way.
  3. Each group should choose a spokesperson who presents their story.

5.4 Our story 15'

  1. Each participant thinks about the Mapping Workshop they had attended and chooses a story, memory, experience connected to COVID-19 they spoke about or heard there. It can be their own or somebody else's.
  2. The adult coordinator helps each participant to write it down in 4-5 short, simple sentences. The coordinator can help by asking questions about who the main characters are, where they are, what they are doing. The participants can also help each other in the small groups.

5.5 Creation 35'

  1. Each participant decides how many pictures they need to tell their stories. Preferably, each sentence of their story should be pictured separately, so they should make 4-5 pictures. They can choose their technique and tools to make the background: they can draw it, use newspaper cut outs to make a montage, use colour papers, etc.
  2. They should draw the characters on separate pieces of white or colour paper, cut them out and glue on the background.
  3. If they need thought or speech bubbles, those can be drawn and cut out separately, or they can be drawn on the pictures. The bubbles can go over the picture frames, text can be inserted over, under or beside the pictures.
  4. Participants glue their pictures on large sheets of cardboard.
  5. Each participant presents their work to the whole group. The facilitator should encourage the participants to give titles to their works.

5.6 Feedback 5'

Participants freeze as a statue that shows how they felt during the workshop.

5.7 Digitizing the artwork

After the workshop the artworks must be collected, good quality photographs (min. 3000 px jpg) must be made (preferably with a dark background), saved by a filename that indicates the date and the title of the work (but no other personal data).
The artists/ facilitators might want to include short comments and quotes made by the participants during the workshop to go with the artwork when they are posted.

6.1 Situations for training the artist

Present the following situations to each participant of your training.
Give them a few minutes to reflect, then ask them to share with the others how they would react. Discuss the pros and cons of the reactions. If their answers are very different from the ones listed below, make sure they really understand the right answer.

Click on each situation to see the suggested answers.

Do not share personal information with the students. Remember that you will only meet them a few times in this project and it would be unethical to raise expectations. If they want to get in touch with you, they should do so through the project manager.

Admit that you don't know the answer and encourage the student to look for an answer. It might be that they already know the answer and just wanted to test your knowledge. In this case encourage them to share their information with the others and praise them for their inquisitive mind.

Explain to them that artistic expression is helpful even if they don't choose to become professional artists. Speak about your carrier choices and encourage them to read about contemporary artists.

Stay calm and make it clear that they work in a safe space where such behaviour is not tolerated. Consider sharing a memory of your own, explaining that showing our vulnerabilities is a sign of faith in the others, not a sign of weakness.

Even if the suggestion is quite clear, you are not trained to deal with such sensitive and complex issues. (Even if you have received such training, you have a different task in this project.) Try not to react in any obvious way and notify the project leader of what you have seen/heard as soon as possible. Details are very important in such cases, so make sure you have the artwork or make a photo of it.

If you had a preliminary meeting with the teachers where you had discussed such situations, try to warn them unobtrusively. If you did not have such a meeting, give the teacher something to do (e. g. ask for their help in arranging the art supplies or collecting the scraps). Do not humiliate the teacher in front of the students, but do not let the interference ruin the students' experience.

Stay calm and make it clear that they work in a safe space where such behaviour is not tolerated. Consider sitting or standing next to the bullied student for a while to show support.

You should be very proud, because it means you have very quickly earned the student's trust. You should also be a bit suspicious, because such quick trust can be faked. Tell the student that you are very sorry they had such an experience and encourage them to express themselves artistically. Do not make promises, do not offer help. You are not trained to deal with such sensitive and complex issues. (Even if you have received such training, you have a different task in this project.) Try to remember the exact words of the student, make notes unobtrusively and notify the project leader as soon as possible.

If you have a professional page where you share your artwork, it is acceptable to share that with the students. Otherwise see No. 1.

Try not to react in any obvious way and notify the project leader of what you have seen.

See No. 6.

Remember that you will only meet the student a few times in this project. Do not make promises you might not be able to keep. If you think you have enough time and energy to act as a mentor, first talk about it with the project manager and the school coordinator/teacher.

Stay calm and make it clear that they work in a safe space where such behaviour is not tolerated. Ask for the teacher's help if you cannot manage alone.

The adult coordinator of the small group should manage this, but you can show your support by paying more attention to the student, asking questions, praising their work.

Ask if they had had anything to eat and drink before the workshop. They might only need a snack or a drink. Open the window, if possible. Ask an adult coordinator to walk to the bathroom with the student to wash their face. If the student's condition does not improve quickly, the coordinator should notify the school nurse/doctor and the parents. Meanwhile, the student should lie down with feet slightly raised in a separate room under adult supervision and the workshop should continue.

When shopping for art supplies, make sure you have enough extra of colour papers, colour markers, stickers, etc. that you can leave some at the school after the workshop. This way, if students wish to improve their artwork or feel inspired to create new ones after the workshop, they can ask the teacher/coordinator for supplies.

6.2 Ice-breaker activities

For energizing and focusing:

Throw a clap: Participants stand in a circle. They pass around a clap by clapping at exactly the same time with the person next to them. They have to find the same rhythm. If a participant claps twice, the clap goes round the other way. Claps can be thrown across the circle, as well, but participants must make sure that they have eye contact with the person they want to send the clap to. Instead of claps, it can be kisses.

Parachute: Participants stand in a circle. They have to take a co-operative parachute out of its bag without it touching the floor. They hold the parachute tight. The facilitator puts a small ball on it and they have to send the ball around without dropping it on the floor or letting it roll into the middle of the parachute. Next, they have to make the ball fly up to the ceiling. Next, they have to create a dome by letting the parachute fly up and running under it. Next, the facilitator shouts a colour and the participants who hold the parachute at that colour change places.

For calming:

Eye contact exchange: Participants stand in a circle, silent, watching. They have to make eye contact with another person in the circle and change places. But if more than one couple start at the same time, they have to go back.

Count to 20: Participants sit in a circle. They have to count to 20, but only one person can speak at the same time. If two people start speaking, they have to start again.

6.3 Cartoon pictures for printing

You can download from here some recommended cartoons. All pictures can be used freely under the Creative commons licence.
The CoMap project started as a collaboration between five European countries to understand the experiences of learning for young people and their families during the lockdown and school closures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the first activities of the project was to explore the perceptions of school leaders in each country about the impact of learning and teaching during lockdown on young people and their school communities, plus their reflections about leading schools during periods of significant disruption.




Schools played a pivotal role in communities during periods of school closures often becoming the only front-line public service open and accessible to local communities beyond emergency services (police, fire brigade, ambulance service).


Cooperation and mutual support are the educational community's essential elements.


Although schools in Greece don't have enough autonomy, they played an integral part in their communities during periods of school closure.

State schools are highly centralised in Hungary and have very little autonomy. Schools maintained by various churches have more money and opportunities to collaborate with the community. There are also a few private schools that are for the privileged, but also provide scholarships for talented underprivileged students.

Schools played an important role in identifying the needs of working families, based on previous experience and collaboration locally. It resulted in most children in need being able to attend school without a break. Schools' opening their gates to communities also contributed to people being together outdoors and doing sports more than before.

So everything we know from Corona is the importance of fast communication channels between learning companions, students, but also learning companions and parents.




Definitions of 'school community' were fluid, contingent, and responsive to the rapidly changing needs of different groups. The experiences of families, and the impact of Covid on them, within a school's locality varied greatly according to transiency. More established communities experienced differing impacts, such as bereavement and overcrowding within households, compared to more transient communities who had urgent welfare needs.


Target groups include children from other countries, Roma children, children with special educational needs, and children from Greece from low-income families. A key common feature of these children is that they come from the lower social strata. Special assistance to these children was provided through donations by the Ministry of Education, the parents' associations in each school, and local businesses.


The school community included al teaching and other school stuff, students and their parents and carers. Collaboration between teachers and parents proved to be highly beneficial. Most obstacles were addressed through the cooperation and mutual support of the school community.

Teachers noted that a stronger, more communicative school community was very helpful during the online schooling, as parents often helped each other and even the teachers to overcome the challenges posed by their lack of IT knowledge.

School leader autonomy made it possible for schools to best cater for local needs and take the level of comfort of community members into consideration. Thus, those few who did not feel safe being among people could stay home without issues around sick leave or truancy. The strict no-mask policy for children nationally also helped communities to sail through this period with higher levels of well-being.

Innovative practices found were related to team activity.




School functions expanded beyond education to incorporate a range of services including provision of food, redistribution of household items (including washing machines and beds) as well as brokerage and advocacy functions. These provisions continued into the school holidays in recognition of the ongoing challenges facing some families and schools are now continuing to provide food and basic necessities for families as a 'year round response' to meet local needs as increased welfare payments agreed for the period of lockdowns are phased out.


Moreover, the headmasters think they have adequately responded to the new circumstances. The headmasters said they did the best they could. It was challenging to implement socialization, the transmission of values, and ethics; Pedagogy changed, but it retained its character. The main thing is that people must be immediately adapted to a rapidly changing environment.


From the beginning of the schools' closure, all teaching activities were done remotely. For lower and upper secondary education, online teaching platforms were used. For the upper grades of primary education, a mix of online teaching and the use of television was used. The use of television was higher for the first grades of primary and pre-primary education.

Very few children (2-10 per school) attended school during the online schooling, and they were only offered supervision, not teaching. Disadvantaged children who had no computers or internet access could sometimes participate in the online schooling by using the computers in the school, but as social distancing had to be taken into consideration, only one or two children could sit in the same classroom.

All schools remained open for those in need, especially families with more deprived circumstances and parents who either could not work from home or actually had to work from home without being disturbed. In higher grades, collaborative online teaching as well as self paced learning was supported.

Schools surveyed did develop a rather late effective reaction to the pandemic which did start in 2021 only.




Teachers roles expanded significantly, and often without boundary, to span education, social service and sometimes parenting functions. This included the necessity to accept heightened levels of physical, mental and professional risk without necessarily having access to additional specialist training or support.


Teachers took on an extra demanding role during the quarantine period. In conditions of technological turmoil, they were called to develop appropriate teaching material, teach remotely, do repetitions, and achieve new learning goals - at the same time some teachers had no computer skills at all. As a result, the teachers suddenly found themselves outside the interactive living environment of a classroom, in which they could until then guide their students, share their problems and with their presence reassure them of any concerns caused by the current reality.


Teachers had to undertake different roles during schools' closure. At the same time that their role as teacher had to incorporate new techniques and meet new challenges, most teachers had to also act as it technicians, psychologists while dealing with their own family issues. The issue of digital skills and readiness was also of primary importance. teachers had computer skills and experience in distance education through their participation in some distance programs or their relevant training. It is this experience that contributed to them having a positive and very positive attitude towards it.

Despite the growing number of digital tools in families the situation is still less than ideal, according to senior teacher's narratives. 'Paper-based' and phone-based solutions did not lead to satisfactory results: teachers were not able to make progress. The freed-up time and energy of teachers was used to handle the somewhat chaotic daily proceedings of online education. This is not changed by any number of the seminars that aim to train the so-called digital immigrants (teachers) to be able to face the challenges the situation calls for.

Teachers' role has not changed significantly, although the use of digital technologies became somewhat more widespread. The ministry monitored related teacher needs and tried to cater for them in constant collaboration with practitioners.





Whilst all school had to develop an online offer for the majority of pupils there is no settled view on the future value of digital learning as a consequence of learning online through the pandemic. Leaders expressed a range of views about the value and purpose of digital in their school curriculum that were highly situated in their understandings of their local context and community characteristics.


The offer of tablets to students by the Ministry of Education can be considered a unique action. This action continues to this day, helping several children.


Teachers had to adopt in using new pedagogies and strategies as well as class management techniques. The headmasters had to support the school community while they were the only ones to be able to go physically to schools. The provision by the Ministry of Education of tablets and laptops was very important.

The overall picture shows us that the educational system is simply not ready to fulfill its purpose properly in case of school closures and switching to digital classes.

The Netherlands is well equipped for and students are used to independent work using digital means, while not focusing on school learning only. Municipalities supported those in need of digital tools.

There was a huge lack of digital infrastructures at general schools but to lesser extent at vocational schools. Considerable difficulties with defining measures for continuing school services during the pandemic could be found as well.




Unlike expectations around teachers' roles and identities concept-making around of learning focused around the 'pre-pandemic' curriculum with discourses around learning 'gaps' and 'deficits' frequently mobilised.


The school learned to operate digitally, and the students showed particular interest in the lessons through computers.


The shift towards digital and distance learning was challenging. The obstacles that prevent a teacher from making use of distance education are technical problems, ethical issues of protecting personal data and intellectual rights, issues of student socialization and active participation, doubt about the future of teachers and issues related to distance education itself (preparation of educational materials, use of special software). Nevertheless, cooperation between teachers has proved to be beneficial.

The only plausible aim they could strive for was to maintain knowledge that had been taught before the Covid-19 pandemic. Another factor should be addressed is the lack of protocols regarding the curriculum and its adaptation to digital classes. This is especially an issue in the case of the youngest who were required to learn reading, writing and calculus online.

The government emphasised the importance of being together as much as possible and being outdoors weather permitting. This has resulted in more collaborative learning and also in fields not necessarily curricular. Research shows a small decrease in curricular learning for primary school that is understandable as online learning was not prioritised for this age-group, rather nonformal and informal learning was incentivised.

There was a considerable focus on subject and contents but less on pupils.




Schools now place greater importance on student and staff wellbeing and embed this into their daily provision in different ways. For some schools these are new additions, whilst for others they are expanding or developing activities that were in place pre-Covid. Examples include: embedding wellbeing into their curriculum; expansion of after-school enrichment programmes; integration of online staff social gatherings; and continuation of a Community Council which focuses on pupil performance and wellbeing. There were many unknowns as to the long-term impacts on CYP mental health, such as the effect of deaths within school communities, and the conditions of poverty many CYP had experienced. All schools said relationships of their staff and student community within school had become closer as a result of the pandemic.


The educational community has demonstrated how strong it is and has managed to cope with this unique situation.


The strong ties between all members of the school community were the cornerstone for overcoming this unique state. The continuation of the school life, even in such a different state was very important for the well-being and mental health of its members.

This situation is not that much better in the case of digital natives (students or even parents), either. Some interviewees expressed their surprise over the inability of children to adequately search for information or properly utilize the digital apparatus granted for educational purposes.

School autonomy made it possible to provide education in the school for all in need. It has proven to be a successful approach with better levels of mental health, well-being and satisfaction while there were no negative epidemiological consequences.

It was observed that the Pandemic meant an opening up for some pupils with different needs, i.e. a less authoritarian regime during times of pandemic.




Definitions of vulnerability shifted and expanded: with food and digital poverty affecting many more groups than schools had anticipated/than had been previously visible. There was less emphasis on specific groups such as refugees and asylum seekers, and a much broader understanding of intersectional vulnerability. Children and young people with SEND were referred to as particularly impacted yet there appeared to be uncertainty as to what that looked like for those CYP with SEND who were kept at home during the lockdowns.


Teachers and schools may have made every effort to keep children out of hybrid distance education. Still, children from low socio-economic backgrounds and low-income families experienced inequality and were left out of hybrid distance education for a while. To some extent, this phenomenon began to weaken with the initiative of the Ministry of Education to provide tablets to children who needed them to participate in hybrid distance education.


It has to be noted that regarding the students, more difficulties were addressed with vulnerable children and those at risk of exclusion that were most likely to stay out of the ICT context, this was the case in two out of the three schools. Furthermore, there were difficulties with internet access or computer use; this issue was gradually resolved with the help of the Ministry of Education, the parents' associations, or other local organizations.

One of the key aspects of the current situation is the integration of digital tools into offline education. Though, on the one hand this creates an opportunity for most children to catch up with the curriculum more easily, many face obstacles that are still present when accessing the educational system online.

It was an understandable, but bad decision to not hold the school leaving exams in 2020. Many students had difficulties due to circumstances outside of schools such as (temporarily) losing their jobs or rearranged households due to elderly relatives moving in with them.

Observation reported that especially vulnerable pupils are at risk being completely lost. Evidence that risk is not only related to migrant population but as well to those from groups with lower level of socio economic resources.




School leaders struggled to keep up with the frequently changing Government guidance and operated as autonomous agents in many respects. Decision-making for UK schools looked different depending on the type of governance of the schools. Schools within larger academy trusts were able to access more support mechanisms, such as digital devices, and interpretation of Government guidance came from higher up within the Trust. School 'closures' did not happen in the UK: all schools opened immediately following Government announcements of school closures and school decision-making/leadership continued into the school holidays.


Regarding Patras, COVID-19 decisively changed the way the headmasters managed the school. This process was done remotely by the headmasters. The pandemic seems to have burdened the headmasters, and their obligations have increased.


The situation under schools' closure proved to be very challenging with school heads. Especially in Greece where schools lack autonomy, school heads had to "juggle" between the official guidelines and the reality of their school community.

Receiving no substantial help from the government, school personnel can only hope that the number of infections stays low, thus avoiding any further lockdowns. Although the state was more lenient with administrative requirements, it did not help a lot.

The Netherlands was one of the few countries that had no full school closures and no mask mandates for children.

Despite the frequent votes held by the teaching staff to address the crisis situation, there remains a lack of clarity regarding the decision-making process. Specifically, it is unclear whether there are initial debates concerning new measures or if these measures can be implemented independently without prior discussion.




There were affective differences that the pandemic has had on CYP bodies in school spaces. All schools have had to manage bodies/spaces within schools in new ways such as 'bubbles', mask wearing, testing. Younger children had been affected in terms of muscle development (e.g. core strength). Anxiety was a particular factor amongst the secondary school and college in terms of the impacts within school spaces long-term, such as social distancing.


During the closing of the schools and their opening, they strictly followed the protocol set by the National Public Health Organization. For a student, teacher, or parent to enter the school, they would have to wear a mask and present a negative self-test. Otherwise, entry was not allowed.


During the schools' closure, only school heads could have access to them. The social aspect of school spaces was almost totally lost.

Most schools in Hungary still not allow parents to enter the school building. Parental engagement is a very new concept in Hungarian education and the COVID regulations further strengthened the rigidity of the system that tries to keep parents out in every sense.

In many places, especially in big cities, schools became more embedded in local community through opening up their outdoor spaces 24/7 for the locals. This practice has remained in place with the yards being used by school children during school hours and the local communities after hours and at weekends.


This project has received funding from the European Commission under grant agreement 2020-1-UK01-KA227-SCH-094553. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.