REMOTE/BLENDED LEARNING POLICY
Manager: Julia Sandiford-Mitchell Reviewed: September 2020
Approved by Governors:
Next Review: September 2023
Temporary adjustment specifically inline with DFE and LA COVID 19 guidance.
Should one child need to isolate the class teacher will use email to direct learning to online resources e.g The Oak Academy.
Where a bubble learning group needs to self-isolate including the teacher, the teacher will follow the policy set out below.
In the unfortunate event that the teacher becomes ill, the parallel class teacher (with admin support) will email parents/children links to online learning and worksheets linked to the broad learning intentions due to be covered.
Whole school closure:
In the unfortunate event of a whole school closure teachers will follow the policy set out below. Following the latest DFE guidance (at that time) school may open for keyworker and vulnerable children the few adults remaining onsite will aim to prioritise support to children’s emotional, personal, social, health and well being. Where appropriate and possible, for the individual, in-school staff will support children with their blended learning tasks.
SLT and staff to be given an easy to follow checklist of procedures to support this policy – these are to be reviewed and updated regularly by SLT and redistributed.
This Blended Learning Policy aims to:
- Ensure consistency in the school’s approach to blended learning
- Set out expectations for all members of the school community with regards to blended learning
- Provide appropriate guidelines for data protection
Please note that this policy has been created with regard to advice and guidance received from Department for Education (DfE) and from Joint Unions (see links in Appendix).
2. Roles and responsibilities
Teachers will use blended learning platforms to set weekly homework.
However, during a pandemic (COVID) or other forced school closure (adverse weather) teachers ideally are available Monday-Friday during usual working hours but this will be primarily directed by their own personal family circumstances. Underpinning this approach is an understanding for flexibility as to when teachers can be available. If they are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure.
Teachers are responsible for: setting work
- Class teachers will provide approximately three activities per day for their pupils plus a daily reading task;
- Activities should include one English; one Maths; and one other Curriculum subject – where possible these tasks should be in line with those learning intentions and expectations as though the children where in school.
- Instructions should contain enough detail for the pupil to be relatively independent (age dependent) but should not rely on use of a computer or device as it is acknowledged that this may be needed by siblings and/or parent(s) working from home. Teachers should not assume that a home has access to a printer to print anything;
- Up to the implementation of GoogleClassroom – teachers will send daily emails to parents (via the school office) containing detailed instructions, worksheets and or links to some online learning sites e.g. The Oak Academy, PurpleMash, Timetable Rock Stars. During late autumn, families and teachers, will provide all learning tasks via GoogleClassroom. This site will enable teachers to plan, resource and mark blended learning within one learning platform.
- Where possible teachers will respond to and or mark children's work via email or the learning site facilities.
Responding as appropriate to parents:
- Teachers should never use a personal device that shares their personal contact details (e.g. phone number or private email address);
- If a teacher receives an email from a parent with regards to a query or concern, then that email is sent to the SLT. Teachers may be asked to provide a response or comment on a response to a parental query after it has been discussed with a member of the SLT. On most occasions a member of the SLT will respond directly to the parent.
Attending virtual meetings with colleagues:
- Teachers may be required to take part in any virtual or online meetings with SLT.
- Is as detailed within the school’s Child Protection Policy and remains compliant with the Staff Code of Conduct.
Alongside their teaching responsibilities, as outlined above, Subject Leads may:
- Consider whether any aspects of the subject curriculum need to change to accommodate blended learning;
- Work with teachers setting the curriculum subject to make sure work set is appropriate and consistent;
- Work with other subject leads and senior leaders to make sure work set across subjects is appropriate and consistent, and activities are being set at an appropriate distance away from each other;
- Monitor the work set by teachers in their subject – explain how they will do this, such as through regular meetings with teachers or by reviewing work set;
- Alert teachers to resources they can use to teach their subject.
Teaching assistants should be available during their normal working hours on the days they are normally required in school. If they are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure.
Teaching assistants may:
Work in school for specific tasks as required by the Headteacher e.g. undertake blended and/or online CPD training, attend virtual meetings with colleagues.
The SENDco is responsible for coordinating provision for pupils with SEND across the school as set out within the schools Special Educational Needs Policy. During a period of enforced school closure, the SENDco will continue to:
- Lead on liaison with SEND pupils at home and their families;
- Ensure completion of necessary SEND paperwork and/or applications;
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
Alongside any teaching responsibilities, senior leaders are responsible for:
- Coordinating the blended learning approach across the school;
- Monitoring the effectiveness of the blended learning activities for example through contact with teachers and subject leaders and reviewing the work set;
- Identifying which families may have no access to the internet and ensuring that hard copies of learning activities planned by teachers are made available to the parent for collection or delivery;
- Oversee the ongoing wellbeing and CPD of teaching assistants.
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and mentor
The DSL’s responsibilities are identified within the school’s Child Protection Policy. The mentor will liaise directly with the headteacher (or deputies) to support specifically identified families and needs.
Pupils and parents
Staff can expect pupils to:
- Try their best to complete at least some of the activities provided on a daily (weekday) basis;
- Do some reading (or listen to some reading) every day;
- Seek help if they need it from adult(s) at home;
- Have fun.
Staff can expect parents to:
- Support their child(ren) as best they are able given their own home circumstances, health and work commitments etc;
- Seek help from the school if they need it;
Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff;
Confirm that they are happy for their child’s work to be uploaded to the school website.
The Governing Body is responsible, including as advised by the DfE, for:
- Supporting staff and pupil wellbeing;
- Being pragmatic about what is covered in virtual meetings by prioritising urgent, time bound decisions only;
- Keeping monitoring to a minimum by focussing on safeguarding, health and safety, headteacher and staff wellbeing and (to a lesser extent) the school’s approach to providing blended learning for pupils;
- Directing any approaches by parents made to them directly or indirectly to the school via email to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Determining how to handle statutory procedures during a period of enforced closure such as grievance and disciplinary panels, exclusions, complaints and admission appeals, noting that:
Complaints - the DfE has updated their guidance for school’s complaints policies to provide that new or existing complaints should not be handled whilst schools are closed. If a school is closed during the enforced closure period, the Headteacher should write a response to outline the school’s position and explain that the school is unable to follow its usual complaints process until school has reopened.
Accessing personal data
When accessing personal data, all staff members will:
Only use their official school email account and never use personal messaging systems;
Connect to the school network using only a school remote desktop connection to work with any personal data to ensure that no data actually leaves the school premises.
Sharing personal data
Staff members are unlikely to need to collect and/or share personal data.
However, if it does become necessary, staff are reminded to collect and/or share as little personal data as possible online.
Keeping devices secure
All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:
Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol);
Ensuring the hard drive is encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files stored on the hard drive by attaching it to a new device;
Making sure the device locks if left inactive for a period of time;
Not sharing the device among family or friends;
Installing antivirus and anti-spyware software;
Keeping operating systems up to date – always install the latest updates.
The school’s Child Protection Policy has been updated to reflect the current situation.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher. At every review, it will be approved by the Governing Body.
Links with other policies
This policy is linked to the school’s following policies: Behaviour Policy
Child Protection Policy
Data protection policy and privacy notices
ICT and Acceptable Use Policy Staff Code of Conduct
APPENDIX: links to professional guidance, advice and support Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (UK Government)
‘There is no expectation that teachers should live stream or provide pre-recorded videos. Schools should consider the approaches that best suit the needs of their pupils and staff’
Joint Union advice on COVID-19 (ASCL, NAHT, NEU)
‘We cannot home school the nation’s children’
Coronavirus advice (NEU)
Distance teaching and learning for school leaders https://neu.org.uk/advice/coronavirus-distance-teaching-and-learning-school-leaders
‘Teachers should not live stream lessons from their homes, nor engage in any video calling unless in exceptional circumstances, with the parent. Online lessons are not desirable for primary children as the teacher-pupil interaction is not easily replicated’
Undertaking remote teaching safely (NSPCC)
Safe Remote Learning advice from the PHSE Association
Coronavirus: How do I home school my children (BBC)
Becky Francis, professor at the UCL Institute of Education: ”What is more important, say educationalists, is maintaining a degree of normality, rather than worrying about a child’s progress in English or Maths. Home schooling for now is about encouraging parents to help their children create regular routines and study habits’