Ofsted inspectors are to help man a new national helpline for parents to provide advice on home learning.
A 60-strong team of volunteers will staff the free helpline, which launches today, including teachers, headteachers and parenting experts as well as the redeployed Ofsted staff.
They will share tips, techniques and resources to help young people continue their learning while schools are closed, and to support family wellbeing.
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Children’s minister Vicky Ford MP told the Education Committee yesterday that 127 Ofsted inspectors had been redeployed to help work with disadvantaged children during the school closures.
Ofsted says other inspectors are helping to develop safeguarding processes and communication with school leaders, while some have volunteered to be emergency foster carers or to provide other support to vulnerable young people, among other roles.
Meanwhile, the helpline, known as StarLine, is backed by the new virtual academy that launched this week, the Oak Academy, as well as Star Academies, the Confederation of School Trusts, Triple P UK and a number of academy trusts.
It is designed to help parents and carers create regular routines and study habits, offering practical steps to take and access to resources, such as support with a specific topic or advice on how to structure the day, deal with difficult behaviour or manage the learning of several children.
Leora Cruddas, chief executive of the Confederation of School Trusts, one of the partners in the project, said: “For many parents and guardians, this is an anxious time as they support their children’s education in their homes. A national helpline to support parents with home learning is a very welcome contribution to our national response to the coronavirus.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “StarLine represents another inspiring example of teachers and education experts working together to share their knowledge, resources and expertise with schools and families across the country.
“Following the launch of Oak National Academy, the publication of guidance for parents and a collection of high quality resources, and the government’s commitment to provide laptops and tablets for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, this is a welcome addition to the support available to help children learn from home.”
StarLine is open six days a week and covers all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education. The number to call is 0330 313 9162 (calls charged at local rate).