Last reviewed 9 October 2020
Schools, colleges, teachers and pupils across England will benefit from new remote education support to help children learn at home if they have to self-isolate, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
This includes an additional 100,000 laptops to be made available for those children most in need if they are required to learn at home, as well as expanding the EdTech Demonstrator programme to ensure schools and teachers are able to make best use of technology available to them.
The extra devices will be available to support: disadvantaged children in Years 3-11 who do not already have access to a device; disadvantaged, clinically extremely vulnerable children of all year groups who are unable to return to school, and children in all year groups unable to access remote education whilst attending a hospital school.
The EdTech Demonstrator programme, which currently has capacity to provide bespoke one-to-one support to 3400 schools and colleges, will be expanded to support a further 1000.
The Government has also published a Temporary Continuity Direction, regarding the provision of remote education in schools, under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Direction means schools have a duty to provide education to children at home, as they do when children are in the classroom.
Mr Williamson said: “I know that through the incredible hard work of our teachers and staff, pupils will continue to receive the education they deserve through this academic year, whatever the circumstances, and I will do everything I can to support our schools, colleges and young people in making sure that’s the case.”
New resources for staff, including a good practice guide and school-led webinars, will also be made available.
This is in addition to the video lessons offered by the sector-led Oak National Academy, into which the Government is investing £4.84 million, and other providers of quality education resources.
The package will also see 80 grants of £1000 to Further Education (FE) providers across England, providing additional training and support for mentors and coaches specialising in assisting teachers with remote education.