Teachers, schools and colleges in England are set to receive new, government-led education support so they can help children learn at home if they must self-isolate.
As part of the new support, an extra 100,000 laptops will be made available to children most in need if they have to learn at home, explains the Gov.UK website.
The EdTech Demonstrator programme will also be expanded to make sure teachers and schools make the most of the technology available to them to enhance at-home education they provide to their pupils.
A Temporary Continuity Direction was also published by the government at the beginning of this month, which targets the provision of remote education under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Direction dictates that schools have a duty to provide education to pupils at home, just as they do when they are in the classroom.
The government said the Direction will help to make sure children asked to self-isolate continue to receive high-quality education from home and sets clear expectations for schools and staff to abide by.
The additional laptops have been added to the reserve of 150,000 already available, as well as the 220,000 that have already been sent to pupils most in need. The surplus will be made available to:
- disadvantaged pupils in years 3-11 who do not have access to a device;
- disadvantaged, clinically extremely vulnerable pupils in any year who cannot return to school;
- and pupils across all year groups who are unable to access remote education while attending a hospital school
More than £1m of extra funding will also be invested in growing EdTech Demonstrator, a programme comprising a network of schools and colleges which offer peer-to-peer support to help teaching staff and support workers better utilise the technology available to them.
The programme currently has capacity to offer tailored one-to-one support to 3,400 schools and colleges, but this will increase by an additional 1,000. The existing Demonstrator network will increase to 50 schools and colleges, backed by £1.5m of extra funding.
More than 6,000 schools and colleges have been supported by the programme already through tutorials, webinars and tailored one-to-one support.
New resources, including school-led webinars and a good practice guide, will be made available for staff. This will be offered on top of video lessons provided by the sector-led Oak National Academy, which is supported by a government investment of £4.84m, as well as other education resource providers.
The package will also include 80, £1,000 grants for FE providers in England, providing extra training and support for mentors and coaches who specialise in helping teachers with remote education.