Learning experiences and the use of technology
There is no objection in principle to the use of online resources to support children’s learning if they are used in a way that is
consistent with this advice.
However, schools should be mindful of the fact that many children and young people live in households with no or limited access to the internet or to the technology required to make use of online
resources. Even in households with full internet access, the number of suitable online capable devices may be insufficient at any one time to meet the demands of home-working adults and children
attempting to access educational materials or live learning sessions (livestreaming). Livestreaming involves sessions that take place online, in real time and involve direct interaction between
teachers and pupils.
The NASUWT is aware that the livestreaming of lessons directly to pupils raises particular issues and concerns. Because of the particular issues in respect of data protection, safeguarding and
ensuring that teachers are adequately protected, the Union advises caution in the use of such an approach. Consideration should always be given first to using an alternative remote learning approach
before livestreaming is contemplated. It should be recognised that there is no expectation from any UK government or administration that livestreaming lessons will be used.
In all circumstances, it is unacceptable for schools to insist that teachers organise and deliver livestreamed sessions.
Teachers should consult the NASUWT checklist on the below if they are considering choosing to use livestreaming lessons as an approach or if issues in
this respect arise in their school or college.
Schools may choose to augment their online provision by providing children with work in physical
formats, such as worksheets or activities in textbooks. While this form of remote learning may be worthwhile, it is clear that teachers cannot be expected to review children’s work undertaken in this
way, or to provide feedback on it, until those children have returned to school.
For these reasons, the nature of the activities set for children during this period is of critical importance. As access to online facilities may be limited for many children, it would be highly
inequitable for online learning sessions to attempt to cover essential new curricular content. Instead, where such sessions are used, they should focus more on deepening and enriching pupils'
existing knowledge and understanding. Free-to-access educational resources, such as those provided by the BBC, may be particularly helpful in this regard.
In their provision, schools should recognise that many children and others in their households will be experiencing significant stress and uncertainty at this time. Therefore, placing excessive
burdens on pupils in terms of the amount of work they are expected to complete is profoundly unhelpful. Remote learning expectations of children should also recognise that the demands on parents and
other adult members of children’s families at present may make it difficult for them to provide an environment conducive to extensive periods of home learning.