Dr Neil Smith, who led the study at NatCen, said: “As the school year comes to an end, young people are facing a double hit to their educational prospects.
“First, disruption to schooling caused by the pandemic has directly impacted on learning.
“Second, the pandemic has adversely affected many young peoples’ mental health, and it’s likely those whose mental health was affected the most by the pandemic will face greater difficulties in making up for learning time that’s been lost.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We are prioritising support for children’s mental health and wellbeing alongside academic recovery, and have announced £3 billion to boost learning, including almost £950 million in additional funding for schools, which they can use with some flexibility to support pupils needs, such as mental health and wellbeing.
“We are also investing millions specifically for more mental health teams working with schools and colleges, including funding to train a senior mental health staff lead in up to 7,800 settings and training from mental health experts to improve how staff, pupils and parents cope with additional pressures, bereavement, anxiety, stress or other emotional responses to the pandemic.”