Amid the Coronavirus pandemic with schools and colleges closing their doors in many societies, the education inspectorate of England has shared – what they think – is some useful advice for leaders and teachers, aimed at helping them develop their remote education offer.
Within the guidance, myths and explanations are shared about what remote learning is, along with seven factors that educators need to consider:
- Remote education is a way of delivering the curriculum
- Keep it simple
- When adapting the curriculum, focus on the basics
- Feedback, retrieval practice and assessment are more important than ever
- The medium matters (a bit)
- Live lessons aren’t always best
- Engagement matters, but is only the start
Further explanations, guidance and resources are also offered, along with setting out that the remote education curriculum should be aligned to the classroom curriculum as much as possible, and carefully sequenced to ensure pupils obtain the building blocks they need to move on to the next step. It suggests that whether learning is delivered through worksheets, textbooks, or via an online platform, it is a good idea to keep resources simple and straightforward to use.
Within England, from 18 January, Ofsted will resume monitoring inspections of schools judged to be inadequate at their previous inspection, as well as some schools graded ‘requires improvement’. Monitoring inspections look at the progress a school is making and encourage improvement. Unlike full inspections, they will not result in a grade.
Inspectors will look at how well schools are educating pupils in the current circumstances – which for most pupils means being educated remotely. Unlike during the first lockdown last year, the government has set a clear expectation that schools must provide remote education, so pupils can continue to learn away from the classroom.
Inspections will be carried out in line with the operational note published in December. A new framework for inspecting remote education is not required, as inspectors will be looking at it as part of the overall quality of education.
Inspectors will consider the school’s remote learning provision, to give reassurance to parents. They will also consider any complaints made by parents about remote education, to help resolve issues and make sure children are being well-served. If parents feel their child’s school is not providing suitable remote education, they should first raise their concerns with the teacher or headteacher. If issues are not resolved, they can report the matter to Ofsted.