Coronavirus: ‘Beware wrong tone in emails to pupils’

Teachers need to be mindful that well-meant emails might be taken the wrong way if the tone isn't right, warns union

Coronavirus: Teachers need to be careful of the tone they use in emails to pupils, warns the Association of School and College Leaders

School leaders are being urged to help teachers achieve the correct “pitch” in emails to pupils during home learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Association of School and College Leaders says that, in emails, teachers lack the “non-verbal cues” that pupils are accustomed to, and, therefore, staff should be careful about the "volume and tone".

The union's guidance to headteachers on leading learning during school closures states: “What a teacher intends to be a well-meant motivational email expressing their concern about a pupils’ missing work submission might be viewed by the receiver as unsympathetic.

Geoff Barton: When schools return it will not be 'business as usual'

Coronavirus: ASCL questions safety of school hubs move

Unions: Protect teachers with weeks off – not days

“Leaders can help to ensure communication from staff is pitched right in terms of volume and tone."

Coronavirus: Headteachers 'must have realistic expectations'

The guidance also states that pupils and teachers will not be as productive in the current environment and urges headteachers to have expectations that are “realistic and sensitive to the situation".

It states: “What can be achieved may vary over time, depending how the impact of the virus unfolds, but it is important to recognise that the normal curriculum cannot be followed in the usual way.

"We can’t expect parents to ‘home-school’ children but we can try to give activities, guidance and support that will help everyone to do the best they can within the situation as it unfolds.

"It may be that, particularly in the early stages, ‘less is more’ and that we need to be mindful not to overload pupils, parents and teachers. Leaders will need to communicate this message effectively to teachers and middle leaders too so that all staff are aware of the need to be sensitive to the context pupils are working in.”

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

Latest stories

Will teachers fight a 'catch-up' extended school day?

Will teachers fight a 'catch-up' extended school day?

LONG READ: Longer school days are predicted to be key to a 4-year Covid recovery plan due to be unveiled by the PM next month. William Stewart examines whether this means a bust-up with teachers' leaders.
William Stewart 18 Apr 2021