Although remote education is helping to plug the learning gap during the Covid-19 pandemic, pupils’ engagement and motivation remain significant challenges for schools and parents, according to a report by Ofsted.
Its latest in-depth study on remote education finds that many schools are doing a good job of mitigating children’s learning loss but keeping pupils motivated remains a challenge, despite schools having made strides in their remote learning offers.
Nearly half of parents who responded to the survey said that keeping their child focused on studying was a top concern, along with motivation and having enough contact with teachers. This was echoed by school leaders, with many working hard to increase pupils’ engagement and to find better ways for pupils and teachers to interact.
New guidance has strengthened expectations around remote education. The report explores the challenges schools, teachers and other providers face in meeting those expectations, and looks at the solutions they are finding to make sure children get a good education while away from the classroom. Ofsted also commissioned surveys of parents’ and teachers’ views about how their children were faring while learning remotely.
The report also found that three fifths of teachers said they were confident they were providing a high-quality remote education. However, there is wide variability in the remote learning on offer.
When developing remote education, most leaders said they focused on making sure pupils were learning what they needed to, rather than focusing on the technology. Several heads said that they expected teachers to deliver lessons as they would in person, modelling answers, questioning pupils and giving feedback as normal.
Many school leaders do not see remote education as a barrier to curriculum delivery and believe learning opportunities and levels of pupil engagement should be the same regardless.