Read this excerpt from a summary of relevant policy, research and reports from Patrick Watson, Managing Director of Montrose Public Affairs Consultants Ltd. The full report is available at the bottom.
What is the Policy?
Schools and colleges have worked hard over the summer and the autumn term to prepare for full reopening and to develop remote education contingency plans. 87% of students in state-funded schools were in school as of 17 September.
Minister Lady Berridge wrote (9 October) that ‘Where there are local outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) the government will take action to control the spread of the virus. In local areas, where restrictions have been implemented for certain sectors (from national direction), we anticipate that schools will usually remain fully open to all. However, there may be exceptional circumstances in which some level of restriction to attendance at schools is required in a local area. In those situations, restrictions will be implemented in a phased manner, the key aim being to retain as much face-to-face provision as possible, with priority for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.’
‘Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to offer them access to remote education immediately’. The Department asked schools to monitor engagement with this activity. During the lockdown, most children were educated at home. This ‘home-schooling’ is not the same as elective home education (EHE), EHE is where a parent chooses not to send their child to school full-time but assumes responsibility for making sure their child otherwise receives a full-time education.
Duty to deliver Remote education
On 1 October 2020, the Department published a temporary continuity direction which makes it clear that schools have a duty to provide remote education for state-funded, school-age children unable to attend school due to COVID-19. This will come into effect from 22 October 2020. The direction poses no additional expectations on the quality of remote education expected of schools beyond those set out in this guidance. DfE says the Direction ‘will help provide assurances to both pupils and parents that if pupils have to self-isolate at home their education will not be disrupted.’
The DfE expected all schools to have had remote education contingency plans in place by the end of September at the latest.
Download the full summary of relevant policy, research and reports including:
- guidance for opening and remote education
- good practice examples
- resources to support remote learning