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Virtual staff include excluded pupils with the click of a mouse

MOST teachers have probably wished at times that they could log out of their classroom and switch off their pupils. Now they may be able to.

Virtual teachers are being sought for a virtual classroom, to be launched this term. Vu2 Media will provide online classroom services for excluded children. Pupils will be offered 10 hours of lessons a week in English, maths and ICT, delivered entirely over the internet.

Daryl Pride, director of Vu2 Media, said: "Teachers will not have face-to-face relationships with these pupils, but they will know how they are getting on."

Children will be able to access classes at home, in libraries, in pupil-referral units and from hospital. Each virtual classroom will consist of up to 15 key stage 4 pupils, who will log on to a webcast lesson simultaneously. Group discussions will be conducted in online chatrooms, and short tests delivered via text message.

Vu2 Media is looking to build up a virtual staffroom of at least 20 teachers. So far, nine have been recruited across 25 local authorities. VU2 Media is also hoping to recruit teachers for a virtual service for home-schooled primary children, to be launched in May.

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