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Government to use 'special powers' to force schools to provide online learning?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Mr_Ed, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Mr_Ed

    Mr_Ed Lead commenter

    I was watching the News at Ten on BBC1 and about 10 minutes in there was a 'blink and you miss it' piece about education in the time of Covid-19.

    Basically, it said that the Government is to use 'special' (it might have been 'emergency') powers to compel all schools in England to make available online all the content that is taking place in school - presumably for children, year groups or 'bubbles' that have to self-isolate, to continue their learning.

    Has anyone else heard anything about this?

    Is it Secondary schools or Primary ones too? What are these 'emergency' powers and what would be the penalty if a school fails to comply?

    I did think that during the first lockdown it seemed there were massive differences between some of the support children received whilst off - my school in particular did not offer any online lessons, stating the lack of internet access & home devices as a barrier - or should I say excuse!

    Is this pronouncement an attempt to level the playing field, especially if in the cold, winter months another lockdown, even including schools, is unavoidable?
  2. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    They will have finally realised that full or intermittent closures of schools, or kids going in on a rota system, will be an inevitability at some point this winter. So they are putting measures in place in readiness to force all schools to provide online lessons and avoid the educational inconsistencies that were perceived to have happened during the original lockdown. In other words it’s a parent appeaser for when they have to do another U turn & close schools.

    The government said it was formalising pupils' rights to remote learning.

    Ministers have insisted that schools will only close as a last resort in the event of widespread virus spread.

    Instead, in areas where cases are high, schools may switch to a rota system of two weeks on, two weeks off.

    The guidance, published on the Department for Education website, said: "The Direction means schools have a duty to provide education to children at home, as they do when children are in the classroom."

    'No disruption'
    It added: "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.

    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  3. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I'm sure I'm not the only person imagining PC Plod turning up at a teacher's home at some point in the future to say:

    'I'm investigating an accusation of historic 'failure to teach online to those pupils in isolation' in that back in October 2020 you failed to teach a pupil exactly the same lesson as those in school were receiving contrary to the special powers of the Government regarding Covid-19, causing the victim years of academic underachieving and feelings of inadequate self-worth which even now, 25 years on, still plagues them....'

    Before clapping the retired teacher in handcuffs and marching them off in the full glare of the news media. :eek:
  4. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I have been retired some time now, but towards the end of my career I put all of my lessons online this allowed others to use them, allowed students who wanted a second look to do so, allowed any absentees to look at the lesson and was there for me for future lessons.
    PamDemic and Jamvic like this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You needn't worry, the law doesn't direct individual teachers to do anything nor place any legal liability on teachers if there's no remote learning. It's the head/governors/trustees who would be held legally accountable. It's not a crime though so sadly you won't see PC Plod at their door.
    Jamvic likes this.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Governors could be held responsible? I've often wondered why anyone would become one - I wonder how many will think twice given yet another thing they can be blamed for...:confused:
    Jamvic and agathamorse like this.
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    And.... It doesn't insist on any particular method. So Zoom, Teams, Skype, email, homework website, Bitesize, study packs in the post, all would be okay.
    Jamvic, Catgirl1964 and strawbs like this.
  8. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    It does not take into account the receiver of said compulsory teaching.
    PamDemic, Jamvic, Catgirl1964 and 2 others like this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Not personally responsible, the Governing Body/Academy Trust as a corporate entity. Individual governors are not personally liable for the wrongdoings or failures of the governing (except in extreme cases where the individual has acted in intentional bad faith).
    Jamvic likes this.
  10. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Barrier not an excuse.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    What about students who do not have the technology? Who will provide the laptops?
    agathamorse and Catgirl1964 like this.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

  13. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The technology has existed for well over a century. It's called the post. Remote learning can work that way too.
    border_walker and gainly like this.
  14. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I teach computing.
  15. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    So the school will pay for stamps/packaging etc? Really? And (if the pupil has no textbook at home - many won't) what meaningful work can be set in, say, History?
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Not all computing actually needs an electronic computer. Indeed the term computer was initially used to describe a person.
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Stamps are cheaper than computers! My point here is that teachers and schools need to be solving the problems rather than holding up their hands in horror; and incidentally teachers are still secure in their jobs, pay and pensions unlike so many others at the moment.
    border_walker and Rott Weiler like this.
  18. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I agree that not all of computing needs a computer.
    try teaching desktop publishing or spreadsheets without a computer.
    agathamorse and Morninglover like this.
  19. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    And, as I said above, many schools do not issue textbooks to pupils to take home; unless they do (more posting?) and the pupils can't access the internet, sending work home by post will be q waste of time. Anyway, why should teachers pay for the costs? And why should they have to go (perhaps some distance) to the post office to get stamps & post them?
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I doubt many schools will be posting much, if anything, but if they do want to no-one needs to go to a Post Office to buy stamps! You buy postage online nowadays, then put it in the nearest post box. That's what admin staff are for if it were needed, but it probably won't be.

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