Education: Internet

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the finding of the Sutton Trust on 20 April that only about 30% of pupils are taking part in online lessons, what action they will take to ensure that schools and teachers are performing their duties.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. It is up to each school to determine how best to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have already shared resources for children who are at home.

The department has not required schools to teach online lessons and this is only one way in which they may opt to provide remote education to pupils. The department has, however, issued guidance for schools on delivering remote education, including case studies and an initial list of free resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their online and hard-copy resources available for free.

Schools can also make use of Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize.

The government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, by providing devices and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of education technology.

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