The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the operation of schools in Iceland as in many other countries. Almost one-third (32.2%) of pupils in compulsory schools in Iceland in 2019-2020 did not miss any teaching days due to the pandemic, and over 22,700 pupils (49.1%) missed one or two days due to school closures. On the other hand, more than 250 pupils missed more than 20 teaching days in 2019-2020 due to the pandemic, the maximum being 26 days.

Many schools responded to the pandemic by teaching shorter days with reduced attendance and offered distance learning, either for all students or for a part of the student group. Almost 37,600 pupils had reduced attendance days during the pandemic, from one to 43 days. Thereof reduced attendance days were more than 10 for over 32,500 pupils.

Over 16,500 pupils received distance education during the pandemic, most from 10 to 15 days. Distance learning was more common among older students. In the 10th grade almost 61% of pupils had some distance education but almost 16% of pupils in the 1st grade. On average, schools were closed due to Covid-19 for 2.6 days. There were 13.9 days with reduced attendance and 5.5 distance-learning days during the 2019-2020 school year.

About the data
The results come from Statistics Iceland’s annual data collection from compulsory schools, but questions were added concerning the effect of Covid-19 on the teaching arrangement in the schools. The schools were asked for information about the number of days when the school was closed, days with reduced attendance and days with distance learning by grade. The data on students are based on the assumption that all students in a grade were present when teaching was offered in the school. Therefore, these numbers do not show pupils who studied at home when lessons were offered in the school.

Three new tables have been published on Statistics Iceland’s website with results based on the data collection.


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