Last reviewed 11 January 2021

Ofsted has published some advice to help school and college leaders and teachers develop their provision of remote education.

What’s working well in remote education has been written by the head of Ofsted’s research team, Professor Daniel Muijs, and draws on findings from Ofsted’s interim visits, as well as wider sources.

It sets out some common myths about remote education and counters them with evidence-based pointers. The guide has been designed to help schools and colleges deal with some of the difficulties and challenges they face under current circumstances.

The guide emphasises that the remote education curriculum should be aligned to the classroom curriculum as much as possible, and carefully sequenced to ensure pupils obtain the building blocks they need to move on to the next step.

It suggests that, whether learning is delivered through worksheets, textbooks, or via an online platform, it is a good idea to keep resources simple and straightforward to use. And, Professor Muijs states, feedback and assessment are still as important remotely as they are in the classroom.

From 18 January, Ofsted will resume monitoring inspections of schools judged to be inadequate at their previous inspection, as well as some schools graded ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors will look at how well schools are educating pupils in the current circumstances – which for most pupils means being educated remotely.

Unlike during the first lockdown last year, the Government has set a clear expectation that schools must provide remote education, so pupils can continue to learn away from the classroom.

Inspections will be carried out in line with the operational note published in December and which can be found here.

A new framework for inspecting remote education is not required, Ofsted notes, as inspectors will be looking at it as part of the overall quality of education.

HM Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said: “It’s important in these challenging times that we return to our work in a constructive way. So we won’t be grading schools this term, but our inspections will consider how well children are being served, in order to provide reassurance to parents.”