Get Help With Remote Education
For the attention of parents and carers:
Below are some extracts from Government’s advice and guidance regarding remote learning provision throughout the Covid pandemic. Some information remains relevant for those self isolating but not unwell (at Nov 2021).
Where a pupil, class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or there are local restrictions in place requiring pupils to remain at home, DfE expects schools to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education.
The Secretary of State for Education has given a temporary continuity direction which requires schools to provide remote education for state-funded, school-age children unable to attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Recording in the Attendance Register
Schools must continue to complete the attendance register for pupils who are receiving remote education.
Schools should keep a record of, and monitor pupils’ and students’ engagement with remote education,
Keep your Child Safe Online
It is important to have regular conversations about staying safe online and to encourage children to speak to you if they come across something worrying online.
These resources provide guidance for parents and carers to keep children safe online. They will, amongst other things, support you to talk to your child about a range of online safety issues, set up home filtering in a child-friendly way and set up age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices:
- Thinkuknow by the National Crime Agency - Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (NCA-CEOP) provides resources for parents and carers and children of all ages to help keep children safe online
- Childnet has developed guidance for parents and carers to begin a conversation about online safety, as well as guidance on keeping under-fives safe online
- Parent Infois a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents and carers related to the digital world from leading experts and organisations
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has guidance for parents and carersto help keep children safe online
- UK Safer Internet Centreprovides tips and advice for parents and carers to keep children safe online - you can also report any harmful content found online through the UK Safer Internet Centre
Apps to Help Children Stay Safe Online
The BBC have a website and app called Own It. The website has a lot of content for children to help them navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most. It can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
SafeToNet is an app for parents to help them safeguard their children from online risks like cyberbullying and sexting, whilst respecting their child’s rights to privacy. The SafeToNet Foundation is providing UK families with free access to 1 million licences during coronavirus.
Communicating with Parents, Carers and Pupils
Where education is having to take place remotely due to coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important for schools, teachers and pupils to maintain professional practice as much as possible. When communicating online with parents and pupils, schools should:
- communicate within school hours as much as possible (or hours agreed with the school to suit the needs of staff)
- communicate through the school channels approved by the senior leadership team
- use school email accounts (not personal ones)
- use school devices over personal devices wherever possible
- advise teachers not to share personal information
Special Educational Needs
For pupils with SEND, their teachers are best-placed to know how the pupil’s needs can be most effectively met to ensure they continue to make progress even if they are not able to be in school due to self-isolating. The requirement for schools to use their best endeavours to secure the special educational provision called for by the pupils’ special educational needs remains in place.
Schools should work collaboratively with families, putting in place reasonable adjustments as necessary, so that pupils with SEND can successfully access remote education alongside their peers.
Where a pupil has provision specified within their EHC plan, it remains the duty of the local authority and any health bodies to secure or arrange the delivery of this in the setting that the plan names. However, there may be times when it becomes very difficult to do so, for example, if they are self-isolating. In this situation, decisions on how provision can be delivered should be informed by relevant considerations including, for example, the types of services that the pupil can access remotely, for example, online teaching and remote sessions with different types of therapists. These decisions should be considered on a case by case basis, avoiding a one size fits all approach.
Where individuals who are self-isolating are within our definition of vulnerable, it is important that schools put systems in place to keep in contact with them.
When a vulnerable child is asked to self-isolate, schools should notify their social worker (if they have one). School leaders should then agree with the social worker the best way to maintain contact and offer support to the vulnerable child or young person.
Schools should also have in place procedures to check if a vulnerable child is able to access remote education support, to support them to access it (as far as possible) and to regularly check if they are doing so.
Support for Low-income Families
Further support for low-income families with disabled and critically ill children, including helping to buy specialist equipment, has been made available through the Family Fund. You can read further guidance on how to apply for the Family Fund.