Government to increase remote education expectation and demand video lessons

The government will increase the number of hours of remote education schools have to provide and introduce an expectation that at least some provision is delivered via video lessons.

A new legal duty for schools to provide remote education for absent pupils came into force last October, and will be used by the government to enforce online learning during partial school closures this spring.

Current guidance for schools states that they must “set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school”. At primary, this would be “three hours a day, on average, across the school cohort”, and at secondary this would be “4 hours a day, with more for pupils working towards formal qualifications this year”.

But the DfE said this afternoon that it would publish updated guidance, increasing the number of hours schools are expected to provide for pupils, “building on the legal requirements already in place to ensure young people receive high quality remote education”.

The government also “expects schools to have a digital platform, such as G-Suite or Microsoft Education, and should provide at least some of their remote provision via video lessons”.

This can be done by school-led videos “or using other providers like Oak National Academy”.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson is also facing questions over his comments in the House of Commons earlier, when he said he expected to schools “to provide between three and five hours teaching a day depending on the child’s age”.

This appears to conflict with the current guidance, which stipulates that work be set, but not that a certain number of hours be specifically taught.

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  1. Janet Downs

    There’s a danger that mandated hours of ‘taught’ video lessons will turn pupils into passive recipients of teacher talk. Pupils and teachers should not be bound by a compulsory timetable which ties them to the computer for hours a day. Quite apart from the difficulty in ensuring access to IT for that amount of time, it leaves no space for pupils to, say, write essays, investigate a topic or be creative.

    • Mark Watson

      Where do you get your information from Janet?

      You refer to the dangers of “mandated hours of taught video lessons” but it seems that you’ve pulled that out of the conspiracy ether.

      From the piece above it seems the Government has said “schools should provide at least some of their remote provision via video lessons”. How did you get from there to “mandated hours of taught video lessons”?

      I suppose you might have been led into this by SchoolsWeek (aka the Fox News of education reporting) who shrilly trumpet in their headline that the Government is to “demand video lessons” but then makes clear in the very first paragraph that what the Government is actually looking to do is “introduce an expectation that at least some provision is delivered via video lessons.”

      “Introduce an expectation” vs “demand”. Hmmmmmm

      I’ve said it before, but it seems as though someone at editorial level skims through a submitted article and comes up with as sensationalist headline as they can conjure up without any regard as to whether it actually links to what has been written. I can only sympathise with the journalists who must be rolling their eyes at the misrepresentation of their work.

  2. Clare Thompson

    How about the pressure that Live lessons put on parents? Especially those who have more then one child, those who have children with additional needs and parents that have to work from home then there’s the issue of these lessons being recorded and whether this needs parental consent.

  3. Professor Bob Harrison

    Video lessons are NOT online learning. Oak National is NOT online learning

    Online learning is a carefully and skillfully designed combination of context,content,co-creation,collaboration,communication,creativity supported by capable,confident,compassionate caring teachers with engaged and empowered learners