Coronavirus: Heads' caution over online celeb classes

Celebrities' offer to help is 'great', but pupils should prioritise work set by teachers, say school leaders

Joe Wicks, a.k.a. The Body Coach, is running daily fitness sessions

Pupils forced to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis should prioritise work set by schools over online celebrity classes, heads have warned.

It is "great" that stars want to help children study at home, but pupils should focus first on the "excellent learning support" being compiled by their teachers, according to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

From Myleene Klass' music lessons to Jamie Oliver's cooking classes, celebrities across the world have been sharing resources to assist with home learning while schools are forced to shut their doors.


MAT leader: Coronavirus crisis is a 'golden opportunity' to help teachers

Coronavirus: ‘Teachers have been heroes and will adapt’

Viewpoint: 'For the poorest, school closures are devastating'


But Geoff Barton, ASCL general secretary, has warned that it is important for pupils to prioritise work set by schools.

He said: "It is great that celebrities and others want to do their bit in this national emergency and are providing additional learning resources which may appeal to young people.

"However, without wishing to sound like killjoys, we would emphasise that the priority must be to follow the schemes of work provided by schools.

"Many teachers are now working diligently from home providing excellent learning support for their students to keep them on track and minimise disruption to their education."

Ty Goddard, chair of Edtech UK, said it is important not to "blizzard" pupils with resources.

"I think many individuals and institutions can bring positive messages and learning experiences to home learning," he said.

"Let's be careful we don't blizzard parents, carers and young people. Schools and colleges in this first week are doing good things, supporting each other and their pupils with home learning in different ways."

Which celebrities are getting involved?

The former Countdown presenter has made her online maths school free for all children aged 4-11 until schools re-open.

Children's author and TV personality David Walliams will be releasing a free audio story every day for the next 30 days.

The Hollywood actors have launched a new Instagram account in aid of charity Save the Children. It features stories told by celebrities.

Dan Snow, also known as The History Guy, is offering free access to his history documentary channel History Hit for 30 days.

The professor of particle physics and TV personality has said he will be getting involved with "several great initiatives" over the coming weeks. On Saturday, he took part in a Q&A session for the Comic Shambles Network's Stay At Home Festival.

The naturalist, broadcaster and author will be running a live "wildlife chat" on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on Wednesday night. 

Fitness coach Joe Wicks has been broadcasting at-home PE lessons for children of all ages. They are broadcast live on his YouTube channel at 9am every weekday morning.

The classical musician and radio presenter is offering free music lessons as part of a "Klass timetable" for children stuck at home.

Chef Jamie Oliver is hosting a nightly cooking show on Channel 4 to help families plan their meals "in these unique times".

The former MasterChef star is streaming live cooking classes on his Instagram account and YouTube channel.

The former Strictly judge's organisation DDMIX for Schools is hosting a 10-minute "shake up" on Facebook Live every day this week.

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

Latest stories

video interview

WATCH: Tes Career Clinic two-minute tutorials

Are you looking for your dream teaching job? Then you need to watch our two-minute tutorial series. Grainne Hallahan shares her job hunting tips in the latest Tes Career Clinic series
Grainne Hallahan 7 Apr 2020