Home Education: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to improve homeschooling curriculums for publicly-funded schools.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the Children's Commissioner's Office preliminary research on homeschooling which found that 27.8 per cent of children age 12 and under are spending one to two hours on schoolwork each day.

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

Our latest guidance on remote education during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here:

www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

It is up to each school to determine how to deliver education to its pupils and whether and how to monitor participation. We recognise that many schools have shared resources – both online and printed resources – for children who are at home; and we are committed to ensuring that all children can continue to learn remotely in a number of ways during these very difficult circumstances.

We are supporting sector-led initiatives such as the Oak National Academy. This new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from schools across England. It is providing at least 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to year 10. Oak’s lessons follow a clear and sequenced curriculum, their curriculum plan is published on their website for schools to use as they choose. By 14 June, 3.4 million unique users had accessed the Oak National Academy website and 11.9 million lessons had been viewed.

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 department has worked with schools to develop guidance based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, this includes 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.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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