Ofsted has published the first reports on how schools and children’s homes are addressing the needs of children at this time.
Ofsted has today published the first report in a new series of briefings looking at how schools are managing pupils’ return to education under the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The report is based on 121 pilot visits to schools across England carried out last month. It finds that school leaders are working hard to make sure pupils are catching up with their education in difficult circumstances.
Inspectors found that some schools have returned to teaching all subjects straight away, while others are taking a gradual approach to reintroducing foundation subjects such as modern foreign languages and geography. In primary schools, there has been a focus on reading, as the foundation for wider learning.
Misinformation and myths, often from social media, about the different approaches taken to prevent transmission of the virus are causing confusion and parental anxiety, despite school leaders’ efforts to meet government guidelines. Over a third of the schools visited reported an increase in the number of children being removed from the school and home educated.
Schools are planning how to remotely educate pupils who cannot attend in person. As well as logistical challenges, the research highlighted the need to align remote learning with the classroom curriculum to maintain progression, when pupils are isolating away from school.
In the 70 children’s homes visited for the social care research, staff have worked hard to maintain an environment that is COVID secure, while keeping children’s spirits up. Where restrictions allowed for it, staff continued to facilitate children’s visits to friends, and contact with families, often making use of technology to do so.
In a commentary highlighting the findings from the two reports, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said: