Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Schools across the UK and the world closed their doors to (most, but not all) pupils over the last few months. School leaders and teachers had just a couple of days to prepare for a situation most have never faced before. It was a daunting prospect and school leaders were faced with:
· Quickly writing or reviewing risk assessments
· Working with staff to create ‘home learning packs’
· Communicating with parents information they themselves had only just found out
· Devising staff rota’s for key worker / vulnerable pupil classes
· Applying for food vouchers
· Changing cleaning routines
· And the list goes on…
It’s not really surprising that how schools supported home learning and the provision provided has varied greatly from school to school and region to region. Schools have responded based on their knowledge of their communities, availability of computer hardware, connectivity and their own skills around technology. Many teachers have made more use of technology and undertaken more self taught IT CPD than they have done for some time.
"The provision of Microsoft Teams within Hwb proved invaluable and we quickly became very familiar with this way of working..." (Swansea Headteacher)
The team at Education Intelligence (Teacher Tapp and now Parent Ping) have been polling teachers and mining data for a few years now. What they find out is insightful and shines a light on what real practitioners are thinking about various subjects.
Most recently they surveyed parents - using their new service Parent Ping – asking them “What is the MINIMUM that all schools should provide for children?” Of the 189 responses 68% of parents think that schools should be providing feedback on work submitted vie email or VLE and 52% think children should have an opportunity to speak to a teacher directly online.
They then asked what did their child receive from their teacher(s) last week, only 22% said they’d had feedback on work and only 14% said they’d had the opportunity to speak to a teacher online.
It’s important to note that we were at the end of term, some children had returned to school and both parent and children’s enthusiasm for home learning after 13 weeks had started to wain! However it still suggests a big gap between parent expectations and schools ability and capacity to meet those expectations.
With schools tasked with having remote learning plans in place by the end of September to ensure resilience for any future lockdowns how are you planning to create a sustainable and scalable solution? Do you know what your parent community expectations are?
Get in touch if you need help developing your remote learning plan, want to explore how technology could help make it easier and support staff well being. I’ve got experience of a wide range of technology solutions and online platforms and can help you create a plan and choose the right technologies for your school and context.
Social contact with teachers and their peers is important and it’s actually incredibly easy to safely implement solutions for virtual meetings and retain a sense of community. I can help you think about the online services you’ve already got and how you could make more or better use of them to support wellbeing, home / school contact, meet parent expectations.