In all parts of the UK, schools are closed to all pupils. Except for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. Parents and carers are having to supervise home schooling with much lacking access to precisely the right technology and in many cases struggling with the cost.
Empty classrooms again. Most children back at home. But teachers in school planning online lessons learning packs for pupils. Schools have spent the day working out how to help families.
It’s not just about moving lessons online
Some children are still learning on their parent’s mobiles. And a day of pay-as-you-go data on lessons could cost almost a hundred pounds. Leading to calls for data for education to be made cheaper or free. Some children we found in the last lockdown didn’t access the zoom. Catching up with his head teachers across stoke. Even with schools contacting families, Some teens lose confidence log out of lessons disconnect from learning.
“What really worries me. Is where those students aren’t engaged and don’t connect and they’re not there for the learning. Even with the intervention what they’re doing every day. Possibly they’re not in the house possibly they’re on the streets. But the only thing that stops them from walking in school. And without school being there they walk in a different direction completely.” (Carl Ward – Chief Executive, City Learning Trust)
More than half a million devices have reached pupils. The government is aiming to double that with more on the way to help those not in a class, but at home.
And as schools are indeed closed to most pupils. Ministers confirmed that this year’s GCSEs and A-levels cancelled in England. Scotland and Wales have already announced the cancellation of major school exams. Some vocational exams in England including B-Techs are still going ahead though there is growing pressure to cancel them as well. Education correspondent Elaine Dunkley has been talking to some of those who are due to sit exams during the summer.
A daunting walk into the exam room
For millions of students, there has been confusion over whether they’ll take place. The level 2 BTEC exam in sports studies is still due to go ahead next week. But GCSE exams cancelled. On 6 Jan the Government will outline how students will be assessed and graded. The anxious wait for exam results day replaced with anxiety about what results will be based on Elaine Dunkley.