School closures – what are the next steps?
20th March 2020
On Wednesday, just hours after Scotland and Wales announced school closures, the prime minister, Boris Johnson publicised the closure of schools attended by up to 8 million pupils in the UK, the first countrywide, and nationwide, school shutdown in history. Schools have been left with a number of questions; how will students be merited post school closures? Who is defined as a ‘vulnerable student’? How will education continue to be delivered for those students are home? We are here to answer these questions to give you a better understanding.
What will happen to exams following school closures?
The government announced following school closures that all primary assessments, including SATs, and exams including GCSEs, AS levels and A levels will not go ahead this summer.
The government are currently working with the sector and Ofqual to ensure young people get the qualifications they need. Alternative arrangements may include using predicated grades, looking at coursework, teacher assessments or any other evidence of candidate performance. However, final decisions are yet to be made, the government has advised further details will be provided shortly on how this will be actioned. Keep on top of the latest information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education
Who is defined as a ‘vulnerable student’?
Government advice is that all children should stay at home where possible, in the exception of vulnerable students. Schools, and any childcare providers, are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children including those who are vulnerable or those whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
To answer the stated question, vulnerable children include those with a social worker or special educational needs. Alongside this, a child only needs one parent to be a key worker to be eligible to attend school during this time. These key workers are those whose job is considered critical to keeping the country running and/or fighting the spread of the virus.
The government has published a list of key worker jobs:
- Health and social care: Doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, frontline health staff, and those producing and distributing medicines, supplies and protective equipment
- Education and childcare: Teaching staff, nursery workers, social workers and those in special education
- Key public services: Those in the justice system, religious staff, charities, workers delivering frontline services, those responsible for the deceased, journalists in public service broadcasting
- Local and national government: Those essential to the effective delivery of the response to the pandemic, and benefits services
- Public safety and national security: Police and support staff, MoD civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel critical to the virus response
- Transport: Those in air, water, road, rail passenger and freight services and anyone in transport systems through which supply chains pass
- Food and other necessary goods: Those in production, distribution, sale and delivery of food and other necessary goods
- Utilities, communications and financial: Staff in banks, building societies and financial markets, as well as those in gas, oil and electricity sectors, those in network operations and call centres, 999 and 111 staff, postal services, delivery and waste disposal sector
Resources to support with home learning
BBC Teach and BBC Bitesize are free websites to use at home and contain thousands of free educational videos, guides and audio clips, as well as an archive of spectacular Live Lessons. Follow the link to find out more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/teaching-from-home-advice-for-parents/zv6bbdm
Twinkl have also released home learning resource packs for a variety of school year groups, alongside some interactive learning links, home activity packs and e-books. You can find these handy resources here: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/search?term=school+closure
Lovemybooks brings together brilliant books with creative reading activities specially designed to engage and excite young children’s interest. To find the list of books and activities to complete, follow this link: http://www.lovemybooks.co.uk/complete-list-books-activity-pages-2
Classroom Secrets have created resource packs for each year group to support home learning. Follow this link to download your free pack: https://classroomsecrets.co.uk/free-home-learning-packs/?fbclid=IwAR3TBFi91-dQa06dGztyZ5leTPyBQIod4jEnVUhH3-ENo8GW93ruVU7CpAo
Impero’s response to school closures
We understand the seriousness of this situation and we’re here to help schools deliver a successful remote school scenario to provide students a continued access to education. Here’s a note from our CEO during this time:
“As a former teacher myself, I have enormous sympathy for all those working in education in these unprecedented and testing times. As many schools implement distance learning, it’s essential that students remain safe online, and go on to achieve successful academic outcomes.
Teachers are familiar with the challenges associated with device and content control in the classroom. New working from home measures, will exacerbate the problem.
Online classroom management solutions which provide a live view of the content students are accessing, can help keep lessons focussed. Live chat functionality ensures collaboration and helps support students working remotely.
Our focus at Impero is ensuring schools deliver a great learning experience, with as little possible disruption, over the coming weeks.”
We’re here to help and give you the tools needed to successfully deliver a remote school environment. Impero Education Pro, our online safety, classroom management and network management solution, enables schools to monitor any remote learning students, using simple virtual learning tools including live thumbnail views, broadcast screen, log viewer, block list and live chat. Read our remote learning blog to find out more about this capability. To help understand your requirements, give us a call on 01509 611341 for a free consultation.