Commenting on the newly-published guidance*, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“In these unprecedented times schools and colleges are doing their utmost to ensure that contact between parents and children is kept up. What needs to be made clear, however, is that this collective effort cannot be business as usual.

“Teachers cannot be working as though they are sat in front of a class, and children cannot be expected to be able to study full time with online resources. Similarly, parents – many of whom will also be working from home – cannot be expected to be supervising heavy school workloads for their children.

“Teachers working at home must be given workloads which are reasonable and sustainable, and this must be negotiated with the staff. Normal education is currently suspended, and teachers should not be teaching a full timetable, or routinely marking work.

“The NEU guidance on distance learning out today makes very clear what should be acceptable levels of workload. Many schools and colleges have already adopted a sensible approach to school-work and engagement with students. Some have not, so it is essential that all heads and leadership teams ensure neither school staff, parents or students are overwhelmed and confused by unrealistic expectations and workload.

“Accessing a normal timetable or individual support simply will not be possible during this period of intense lock down and crisis. We cannot educate the nation’s children and young people remotely.”

Editor’s Note

* The new guidance was published today, and is available here.