Remote education is a new experience for both staff and pupils and keeping both teachers and pupils safe throughout the process is essential.
Adults and teachers working with pupils educated at home via Microsoft Teams or any other remote learning and/or video conferencing tool/software must adhere to and continue to follow this policy and any safeguarding procedures.
All staff who lead or engage in remote learning with children and young people must be supported to be consistent in their approach to remote learning. This will provide stability for the child and maximise engagement in what might be a novel or unsettling process. Consistency will also ensure that all engaged in remote learning are kept safe.
Senior Leaders will, in part via this policy, will set out expectations for all members of the school community with regards to remote learning. This will include, but not be limited to, ways to safeguard students and staff as well as providing appropriate guidelines to ensure data protection.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Senior Leadership team within the school will contact parents and/or Local Authorities to not only consent to the remote learning but also reinforce the importance of our pupils staying safe online.
We understand the importance for parents and carers to be aware of what their children are taught and the school staff they interact with.
Compass schools will emphasise the importance of a safe online environment and encourage parents and carers to set age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices and use internet filters to block malicious websites. These will be asked to be turned on with a signed agreement by the parent or carer prior to the pupil being taught.
A list of resources will be provided by the school to support parents and carers to keep their children safe online. These will be listed at the end of the policy.
If Teachers are unable to work for any reason during this time, for example due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure. Please see the guidelines to follow Covid procedure if needed.
Teachers providing remote learning are responsible for;
- Co-ordinating with other teachers to ensure consistency and to make sure pupils with limited access to devices can still complete the work
- Delivering remote learning using only Microsoft Teams or video conferencing software approved by the Compass community ICT team.
- Delivering sessions from within the school with another member of staff present.
- DSL will be invited to all remote learning sessions and may ‘drop in’ at random times.
Following the ‘remote learning session’ teacher protocols when delivering remote learning sessions at home.
- Teachers should find try to find a quiet or private room within the house
- Ensure backgrounds of calls are ‘blurred’ or ensure the background has no distinguishing features and is very plain.
- Ensuring that they are wearing professional dress for remote learning sessions and that are working with a neutral background or one that can be blurred.
- Ensure that if emails need to be sent to pupils parents, staff or carers school email accounts are used for all correspondence.
- Another staff member is able to access the remote learning and a DSL has a copy of the remote learning timetable and are able to view the learning content.
- Teachers to ensure that all remote learning activities are planned a week in advance in case of serious illnesses.
- Ensuring that a parent, carer, or responsible adult are present, or at least at home, during any remote sessions with a pupil.
- Where this is not feasible, due to changes in the national public health advice, local or regional lockdowns or requirements for self-isolation, the DSL will seek to enable remote lessons to continue safely and efficiently via individual risk assessment. This might include but not be limited to ensuring that another member of staff is logged into the remote session if this is unable to happen in person.
- Remote learning sessions will only take place according to pre-agreed timetables that have been published/shared with parents/carers and school staff.
- Reporting any reason if unable to work (above).
Senior Leaders are responsible for;
- Ensuring that all staff adhere to this policy, paying particular regard safeguarding procedures.
- Co ordinating the remote learning approach across the school
- Ensuring transparency with parents, local authorities and other interested/appropriate parties
- Monitoring the effectiveness of remote learning during daily briefing, reviewing work and getting feedback from pupils and parents.
- Monitoring security of remote learning systems including data protection and safeguarding considerations.
- Ensuring a DSL can access the remote learning sessions.
- Email and keeping parents informed about Coronavirus update messages from the Government, the DfE and/or the Local Authority.
IT Staff are responsible for;
- Resolving technical issues with systems used to set and collect work
- Helping staff and parents with any technical issues
- Reviewing the security of remote learning systems and flagging any data protection issues
- Assisting pupils and parents with accessing with the internet or devices.
- Sanctioning any alternative or satellite software which may support the remote learning process.
Pupils and parents
Pupils learning remotely should;
- Seek help if they need help from teachers
- Alert teachers if they are unable to complete the work set
- Contact teachers or staff in the event of technical difficulties or any concerns.
Parents with children learning remotely should;
- Make the school aware if the child is sick or otherwise is unable to complete the work set.
- Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff.
- Supervise, either directly or ‘loosely’, their children during remote learning sessions.
- Be aware of timetabled sessions.
- Know who they can speak to at school if they have any concerns.
The Governing board are responsible for;
- Monitoring the school’s approach to provide remote learning to ensure education remains as high quality as possible.
- Ensuring that staff are certain that remote learning systems are appropriately secure, for both data protection and safeguarding.
- Ensuring the regular review of this policy.
It is essential to have and communicate clear reporting routes so that children, teachers, parents and carers can raise any safeguarding concerns. Senior leaders will ensure that the complaints policy and procedure and the safeguarding a child protection policy is shared with parents and carers prior to the commencement them coming on role and/or commencing any learning activity.
Senior Leaders may review the existing arrangements to ensure they are appropriate during school closures, or if additional or alternative arrangements need to be put in place.
As a school we will signpost the practical support that is available for reporting harmful or upsetting content as well bullying and online abuse.
There are resources the school can refer to regarding these concerns. Please see our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy alongside our Anti-bullying policy.
Communicating with parents, carers and pupils
Where education has to take place remotely, teachers and pupils should always maintain professional practice.
Staff will adhere to the Code of Conduct which they review and sign annually.
Communication should be transparent. When communicating online with parents and pupils schools should:
- Agree the number of hours and times being taught.
- Communicate through Microsoft teams which has been approved by the Senior leadership team.
- Use only school email accounts for any further communication.
- Use school devices at school only (for exceptions in very specific circumstances please see considerations above).
Virtual lessons and live streaming
Compass community schools have informed support and consent from the local authority regarding remote teaching of pupils using Microsoft teams.
Providing pastoral care remotely
The school have worked with parents, pupils and carers to make a weekly plan to help reduce stress and anxiety for families. The school have asked for an adult to be present within the home during the teaching session and an additional member of staff in the classroom whilst the teacher is delivering the teaching session. If parents need further support or guidance during this process, they are encouraged to speak with the Senior Leadership team within the school.
Personal data and GDPR
Compass Community school will continue to follow the government guidance outlined in the data protection toolkit for schools;
- Providing access to school data systems safely.
- Not sharing usernames and other personal data for access to online resources.
- Ensuring contact details are not shared when emailing multiple people.
Keeping devices secure
All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes but is not limited to;
- Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are a least 8 characters with a combination of upper and lower case letter, numbers and special characters.
- Ensuring the hard drive is encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files.
- Installing a anti -virus and anti-spy software.
- Keeping operating systems up to date.
This policy will be reviewed at least annually and will be scrutinised in line with the changes in governmental advice.
Links with other policies
This policy is linked to our:
- Behaviour policy
- Anti-Bullying Policy
- GDPR Policy
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Safeguarding and Child protection policy
- Data protection and privacy notes
- E-Safety Policy
- Thinkuknow provides advice from the National Crime Agency (NCA) on staying safe online
- Parent info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.
- Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use,
and to find out where to get more help and support.
- Internet matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world.
- London Grid for Learning has support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online.
- Net-aware has support for parents and carers from the NSPCC, including a guide to social networks, apps and games.
- Let’s Talk About It has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation.
- UK Safer Internet Centre has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services.