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Are state schools doing virtual lessons?

(54 Posts)
twosoups1972 Sun 19-Apr-20 11:29:00

My dds attend a state secondary school (Years 8 and 12). School say they have considered running virtual lessons but have decided against it for various reasons such as not all pupils having access to the right equipment and safeguarding issues.

My dds are being set work sent via email which they have been getting on with as best they can.

I've heard of private schools offering virtual lessons, are any state schools offering similar?

OP’s posts: |
mymadworld Sun 19-Apr-20 11:47:40

No we've had a similar message. TBH whilst it would be great to have virtual lessons, I do see their point and it's not forever so can't get worked up about it. Friends with Dc at private school are reporting a whole day of live virtual lessons but if you're still paying £1000's per term you're going to expect more and demographic of a privately educated child is somewhat different to the rest of society so there is an assumption that all have appropriate environment to work, parental support and access to internet.

W00t Sun 19-Apr-20 11:53:00

Most will not because of safeguarding the pupils and the teachers. My school (state) is doing live (not virtual- I presume you mean lessons online) lessons with Y12s only. DD's school (state) is doing live with Y12s only, DS's (fee-paying) hasn't done live yet, but will after Easter holiday, once per day.

Saisong Sun 19-Apr-20 11:53:50

BBC bitesize are doing daily lessons for each age group starting tomorrow. I'm hoping that will help with a bit more varied content to supplement stuff from school.

W00t Sun 19-Apr-20 11:56:42

And you must realise that there are children in my school, and a few in DD's school that do not have any device at home, nor broadband access to see any lessons. The only reason that each of my children have a device to access lessons is because DH and I have both brought machines home from work for us to work on.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Apr-20 11:59:59

The DfE has set up an online school (video lessons, not zoom) from tomorrow.

SpicedCamomile Sun 19-Apr-20 12:04:24

DS is at a state grammar school. They are sticking to their time table and the way each teacher approaches lessons differs, but many are using Google Classrooms, if that is what it is called, they will do a video chat to explain the work at the beginning of the lesson and be available for questions during the timetabled lesson. Is that the kind of thing you mean? DS does not have a lap top and mostly uses his phone, he uses my laptop for lessons like computing that need apps that his phone can’t download.

twosoups1972 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:22:06

Sorry yes I was talking about live lessons.

W00t if it's due to safeguarding, that would apply to private schools too wouldn't it?

OP’s posts: |
twosoups1972 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:23:37

@SpicedCamomile that set up sounds good. My dds' school is encouraging pupils to stick to the timetable and work is set via email but there is no video support or Google classroom or anything else.

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Sun 19-Apr-20 12:24:25

No. Most of our pupils share a computer with siblings / parents so we’re setting lessons to be done at a point when it’s convenient rather than taking over the family computer for hours at a time.

PotteringAlong Sun 19-Apr-20 12:24:47

We’re setting it via google classroom.

careerchange456 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:26:27

OP Yes the safeguarding risks apply equally to private schools. Zoom for example has been shown to have lots of security risks with indecent images flashing up etc.

twosoups1972 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:27:15

So how can private schools offer live teaching if there are clear safeguarding issues?

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sun 19-Apr-20 12:30:16

They are ignoring the safeguarding issues in favour of school fees.

manicinsomniac Sun 19-Apr-20 12:37:03

So how can private schools offer live teaching if there are clear safeguarding issues?

We have to make sure we press record at the start of each lesson and ensure the children leave the 'classroom' before we do. We use Teams instead of Zoom (expensive, I believe). Those two things remove any serious safeguarding issues.

From my known anecdotal experience only, about 50% of state schools are offering live lessons.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Apr-20 12:39:52

about 50% of state schools are offering live lessons.

It’s way less than this, nationally, even in private schools.

SionnachRua Sun 19-Apr-20 12:40:24

Zook has tightened up its controls recently and teachers have become more savvy with it, there are a lot of simple security steps teachers can take. Things like establishing a waiting room, admission only granted by teacher (even if you have the password and meeting link), requiring a meeting password, meetings can't start without teachers permission, removing the screen share option for participants, not using the same meeting link each time... A lot of schools are looking at using the new Google meets as well.

Having said that I think live lessons are of limited benefit. Kids will do fine with work uploaded.

Yurona Sun 19-Apr-20 12:51:33

Zoom is fine IF used appropriately (see post above). It has the potential to go wrong if NOT used appropriately

manicinsomniac Sun 19-Apr-20 13:03:57

Interesting graph, noblegiraffe - thanks.

Only thing I'm wondering is that it says 'a class' not 'a day'. I'm wondering if it's referring to individual lessons rather than a whole day's education and I'm not not sure if that would make a difference to the stats or not? Plus there will be a big difference in whether the primary school referred to being answered by something thinking of a 10 year old or a 5 year old.
For example, all my lessons are live because I only see each class once a week and I teach performing arts so not much I can do if it isn't live.
But subjects who get a lesson each day might only do 2 or 3 a week live and the others just on chat box learning platform. And the younger the children get the fewer live lessons they have. For Year 2-4 we only have 2 live lessons a day and for Reception and Y1, very little at all.

I'm not sure what the rights and wrongs are with live lessons and whether they are more beneficial than static contact or not. I'm not even sure there is a right or a wrong.

But I'm grateful that my school does live lessons otherwise, due to the subject I teach and the age I teach it to (not much theory for Under 13s), I'd be out of a job.

Plus, as you say, we need the parents to pay the fees ...

Fleura Sun 19-Apr-20 14:40:02

@noblegiraffe I’d be extremely concerned if a private school was putting fees above safeguarding and that’s certainly not been my experience with my son’s school. They have been very open about the challenges of doing live lessons and not being one to jump on the bandwagon especially as it’s a primary school. They are offering one live tutor session a week mainly for pastoral reasons and that’s only if respective parents are in agreement - they have set out strict guidelines as to the nature of these calls and the behaviour expected of students and parents.

Otherwise work for the day is all being uploaded to Google Classroom first thing so you can work through it at your own pace. It’s very relaxed and ultimately, it’s up to parents to decide how much to do. My son’s in Year 1 which obviously makes a big difference as to the amount of work but equally the level of parental input needed! Having said that, we’re two days in and I’m ready for half term 😂😂🤪

jeanne16 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:45:44

Our school is using Google Meet for some online lessons. Pupils have all signed a document spelling out expected behaviour online. I think the safeguarding issue is an excuse not to do these lessons.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Apr-20 14:48:32


Wobba11 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:49:31

DS is at a private prep and they arent using zoom due to safeguarding.

Set up is similar to what Fleura describes.

DonLewis Sun 19-Apr-20 14:54:32

My sons school is doing a normal timetable. All work has to be submitted at the end of the lesson. Not live teaching, it's all done through their already established VLE. I hate it. He spends all day on his laptop and is totally screened out by the end of it. His only times away from it are PE lessons and free periods (one per week). I feel sorry for the teachers too, who no doubt have their own kids at home.

Primary school are sending home weekly bundles of work.

actiongirl1978 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:57:28

Our secondary private is doing full live lessons via MS Teams. The prep is using google classroom with regular zoom sessions during the day. Also a full timetable, with live PE lessons. Children who dont login will be contacted as if absent from school although keyworker children can access the work at other times, they may miss the live sessions though.

I bought refurbished iPads before lockdown plus we have a PC and printer and several rooms for people to work in. I cant imagine how hard this is for other families.

We have been issued strict rules for VCing from school such as children must be fully dressed and there must be an adult in the room or nearby whenever online.

It worked well for the first week before hols, back to it tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone.

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