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Fury as most state school students 'deprived' of proper online education in lockdown

While some state sector schools have risen to the challenge, figures reveal many pupils are falling behind in their work.

This is despite free technology being offered by providers such as Zoom, Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams.

Teachers have also been on full pay throughout the lockdown.

It emerged yesterday that tough guidance from the Government is to force state schools to offer the same quality of remote learning as provided by private schools.

Switch Mark Lehain, from the Teachers and Parents for Excellence network, said: “Schools had to make an unprecedented and sudden switch from classroom to remote learning for all their pupils.

“It was a massive challenge, so it’s no surprise quality of provision has been variable.

“It has been frustrating for families when they hear about other people’s kids having regular online lessons from school but their own have had little or none.”

Figures show just 71 percent of state school children are getting, at most, one daily online lesson. Yet 31 percent of independent school pupils get at least four a day.

Other research by The Sutton Trust found only 19 percent of pupils from state primaries and 22 percent of state secondaries have taken part in the daily online tuition.

But privately educated pupils are twice as likely to access online tuition as state school peers.

Sir Peter Lampl, The Sutton Trust’s chairman, said: “Many private schools already had access to online platforms before lockdown.”

The new guidelines say teachers must step up the quality of their remote learning provision because this may end up as an “essential component” of learning if there is a local lockdown. Schools have been told they need to have contingency plans in place for remote learning by the end of September.

Learning at home must be set “meaningful and ambitious” work in different subjects every day.

Many private schools have pupils at their desks doing live lessons from 8.30am until 3pm.

The National Foundation for Educational Research found a third of pupils were not engaged with their lessons and only 42 percent had submitted work for marking.

Four in 10 pupils in England have not been in regular contact with teachers and children have been doing schoolwork for an average of just 2.5 hours a day.

Oak National Academy, the online school set up by the Government to support pupils in lockdown, is preparing to record 10,000 lessons in July.

The Government is spending £4.3million to provide an online learning “back-up” during the coming academic year.

Some 202,000 free laptops have been given to poorer families so that their children can use them for education.



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