Attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. Schools subject to the remote education temporary continuity direction are required to provide remote education to pupils covered by the direction where their attendance would be contrary to government guidance or legislation around COVID-19. This includes, for example, where such guidance means that a class, group or a small number of pupils need to self-isolate. All such pupils not physically unwell should have access to remote education as soon as reasonably practicable, which may be the next school day.
Independent Schools (not including academies) are only covered by the remote education temporary continuity direction in relation to state-funded pupils in their schools. However, they are still expected to meet the Independent School Standards in full at all times.
From September 2021, we continue to expect schools to provide remote education for pupils whose attendance would be contrary to government guidance or legislation around Covid-19. Schools should therefore maintain their capabilities to deliver high quality remote education for next academic year.
Where needed, the remote education provided should be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and should include recorded or live direct teaching time, as well as time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently. As a minimum you should provide:
- Key Stage 1: 3 hours a day on average across the cohort, with less for younger children
- Key Stage 2: 4 hours a day
- Key Stages 3 and 4: 5 hours a day
Online video lessons do not necessarily need to be recorded by teaching staff at the school. High quality lessons developed by external providers can be provided in lieu of school led video content.
In developing remote education, we expect you to:
- teach a planned and well-sequenced curriculum so that knowledge and skills are built incrementally
- have a good level of clarity about what is intended to be taught and practised in each subject so that pupils can progress through the school’s curriculum
- select a digital platform for remote education provision that will be used consistently across the school in order to allow interaction, assessment and feedback and make sure staff are trained and confident in its use. If schools do not have an education platform in place, they can access free support at get help with technology
overcome barriers to digital access for pupils by, for example:
- distributing school-owned laptops accompanied by a user agreement or contract
- securing appropriate internet connectivity solutions
- providing printed resources, such as textbooks and workbooks, to structure learning, supplemented with other forms of communication to keep pupils on track or answer questions about work
- have systems for checking, daily, whether pupils are engaging with their work, and work with families to rapidly identify effective solutions where engagement is a concern
- identify a named senior leader with overarching responsibility for the quality and delivery of remote education, including that provision meets expectations for remote education
When teaching pupils remotely we expect schools to:
- set meaningful and ambitious work each day in an appropriate range of subjects
consider how to transfer into remote education what we already know about effective teaching in the live
classroom by, for example:
- providing frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources
- providing opportunities for interactivity, including questioning, eliciting and 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 where appropriate
- using assessment to ensure teaching is responsive to pupils’ needs and addresses any critical gaps in pupils’ knowledge
- avoiding an over-reliance on long-term projects or internet research activities
We expect you to consider these expectations in relation to the pupils’ age, stage of development or special educational needs, for example where this would place significant demands on parents’ help or support.
We continue to expect schools to publish information about their remote education provision on their websites and this should be kept up to date. An optional template is available to support schools in doing this.
Younger children in Key Stage 1 or Reception often require high levels of parental involvement to support their engagement with remote education, which makes digital provision a particular challenge for this age group. We, therefore, do not expect that solely digital means will be used to teach these pupils remotely.
If pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) are not able to be in school their teachers are best placed to know how the pupil’s needs can be most effectively met to ensure they continue to make progress.
We recognise that some pupils with SEND may not be able to access remote education without adult support and so expect schools to work with families to deliver an ambitious curriculum appropriate for their level of need.
The requirement for schools within the 2014 Children and Families Act to use their best endeavours to secure the special educational provision called for by the pupils’ special educational needs remains in place.
You should work collaboratively with families and put in place reasonable adjustments so that pupils with SEND can successfully access remote education. In this situation, decisions on how provision can be delivered should be informed by relevant considerations including the types of services that the pupil can access remotely.
You can access further information on supporting pupils and students with SEND to access remote education.