This Harvard Business Review whitepaper, sponsored by Microsoft, highlights that a combination of factors, encompassing social, political and economic, have created a “perfect storm” of challenges to the education system. It is becoming increasingly evident that the impact of the pandemic is having a short as well as long-term impact on children’s development. However, there are ways for educators to help address some of the performance gaps as well as tackle some of the anxiety and depression issues suffered by many, and address challenges to children’s psychological and emotional wellbeing. Moving forward it is going to be critical to “support students by fostering their emotional intelligence, providing programs that nurture their mental and physical well-being, and providing all students with equal access to potentially lifesaving services and resources”. The main issue for achieving academic success and, at the same time retaining good mental health, will inevitably depend on “the support systems that exist around any particular child”. But herein lies the challenge: few developed countries have these systems available to every child that needs them, so in developing countries it is likely that there is little support, so many children will not get what they need and will fail to achieve their potential. Recognising this problem and addressing where possible through NGO programmes will be the only way to help children from low income nations push through to the other side.