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Remote education during spring 2021

Remote education – supporting schools and promoting consistency in Ealing

In January 2021, following the announcement of a second national lockdown expected to continue until at least February half-term, the government has reinforced its expectations of schools under the temporary continuity direction.

Ofsted has published a summary for schools based on evidence gathered on good practice: What’s working well in remote education (GOV.UK)

All schools have been asked to provide remote education for pupils as follows:

Remote education should be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and will include both recorded or live direct teaching time and time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently. The amount of remote education provided should be, as a minimum:

  • Key Stage 1 : Three hours a day on average with less for younger children
  • Key Stage 2 : Four hours a day
  • Key Stages 3 and 4 : Five hours a day

Schools are expected to:

  • set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects
  • consider how to transfer into remote education what we already know about effective teaching in the classroom i.e.
  • provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources
  • providing opportunities for interactivity, including questioning, eliciting reflective discussion
  • providing scaffolded practice and opportunities to apply new knowledge
  • enabling pupils to receive timely and frequent feedback on how to progress using digitally-facilitated or whole-class feedback
  • using assessment to ensure teaching is responsive to pupils’ needs and addresses any critical gaps in pupils’ knowledge
  • avoiding over-reliance on long-term projects or internet research activities.

The DfE emphasises that these expectations should be tailored to pupils’ age, stage of development or SEND. It is not expected that teachers will rely solely on digital means to teach younger pupils and those with SEND.

The DfE get help with remote education portal provides information, guidance and support on educating pupils and students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Additional information includes:

Increasing data allowances on mobile devices

The Government has announced a scheme to offer temporarily increased data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted. Schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increases for children and young people who: do not have fixed broadband at home, cannot afford additional data for their devices or are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education.

ELP support Spring 2021

We recognise that school leaders are currently planning for, and responding to, multiple and varied scenarios in managing staff and pupil absence as the pandemic continues. We want to support our schools in planning provision recognising that both short-term plans and longer-term strategies are needed to ensure parity of access for pupils and development of staff expertise.

We also know that schools are at different stages in utilising digital platforms in supporting whole school systems as well as remote learning. We know that some of the communities served by our schools, struggle to access online platforms and many households have limited equipment. With all of this in mind, we encourage all schools to maximise all opportunities for securing access to equipment and to access to high quality learning materials and interaction with pupils at the heart of their remote provision, whatever form it takes.

In 2020 we developed a self-assessment tool to support leaders in evaluating their plans to date. The tool is designed to support development planning throughout 2020 – 2021 and can be adapted as appropriate Remote learning – self-assessment tool. The DfE is about to publish a “review your remote education provision” tool to support self-assessment and further development.

Children with SEN

Read the remote learning good practice guide for children with SEN

We are working with Hounslow on a new document to support schools with practical examples of home learning activities. This will be sent to SENCos by 25 January.

We have organised a series of differentiated webinars for teachers and senior leaders in partnership with EdTech. Schools can sign up for these training sessions here. They are suitable for primary, secondary and special schools.

Schools that have signed up to the bespoke EdTech package provided by demonstrator schools will receive additional support and be linked to other local schools to support continuous development.

From the week started 18th January, we will facilitate cluster networks for all leaders of remote education in primary and special schools to review the current expectations and their schools’ developing provision.

We will invite schools to share their approaches to managing remote provision, to communicating with parents and to pioneering new pedagogy and practice. In the meantime, if you have any policies, documents or ideas that you would be willing to share with other schools please send them to Nigel Cook CookN@ealing.gov.uk

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Last updated: 18 Jun 2021