Online learning must include video lessons, says DfE

Most secondary schools will receive their 'full allocation' of digital devices by the end of the week, the DfE promises

Catherine Lough

Coronavirus school closures: Online learning must include video lessons, says the DfE

Schools must include video content in their online learning provision, the Department for Education has said.

It said in a statement issued this afternoon following education secreteary Gavin Williamson's speech to the House of Commons that "the government expects schools to have a digital platform, such as G-Suite or Microsoft Education, and should provide at least some of their remote provision via video lessons – this can be done by school-led videos or using other providers like Oak National Academy".

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The DfE also promised that over 100,000 digital devices will be delivered to schools over the course of this week, pledging that the "vast majority" of secondary schools will receive their "full allocation" by the end of this week. 

It added that devices will be delivered to primary school pupils over the next two weeks, prioritising disadvantaged areas.

Coronavirus: Online learning 'enforced' by Ofsted

In his speech, Mr Williamson said the mandatory duty placed on schools to provide remote learning will be "enforced" by Ofsted, and that parents will be able to report schools to the inspectorate where they have concerns.

"We expect schools to provide between three and five hours' teaching a day, depending on the child's age. If parents feel that their child's school is not providing a suitable remote education, they should first raise their concerns with the teacher or headteacher and, failing that, report the matter to Ofsted," he said. 

The DfE has also announced that it is working with data providers to ensure students can access educational sites remotely.

"The government is working with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide access to educational sites. Schools can already request free mobile data uplifts for disadvantaged families, via the Department for Education’s website," the DfE said.

"The level of additional data for families will vary by provider, but, for example, Three customers will receive unlimited data and EE customers will receive an extra 20 gigabytes per month. Other providers supporting the offer include Tesco Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and O2."

Mr Williamson said: “Schools and colleges are much better prepared to deliver online learning – with the delivery of hundreds of thousands of devices at breakneck speed, data support and high-quality video lessons available.

"We are working with Ofqual, headteachers and the education sector to make sure those young people who were due to sit exams can take their next step and progress in education or into the world of work."


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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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