Headteachers of UK schools are preparing contingency plans for the coronavirus crisis in schools. Further closures are expected, with the impact felt around the world. The Daily Mail reported this morning that 290 million children are facing weeks at home, as schools have closed in 13 countries.

Iran have announced the decision to close schools until Persian New Year. This event is followed by national holidays, which means classrooms will remain empty until April. This follows decisions to close schools across Italy and Japan.

Headteachers in the UK are liaising with educational professionals in the worst hit countries, with schools in Hong Kong and China currently educating students through online learning. In this blog post we’ll explain the latest on coronavirus in schools.

 

Coronavirus update

To find out what coronavirus is and how dangerous it can be click here. For the Government’s strategy tackling the epidemic click here. For updates on the coronavirus in schools crisis follow our live blog.

This week, The Independent reports that schools have begun discussing how to reduce the disruption caused by the virus. Many schools are preparing online learning resources for pupils to take home with them at short notice.

One school is planning a training day to inform staff about the benefits of virtual education. Another school is testing email systems to ensure the school has capability of working remotely.

 

“Schools have got to ensure the school day carries on as normal from home”

Headmaster of Brighton College, Richard Cairns, has written to parents about the plans to use online teaching if they are forced to close for long periods of time.

I hope the school will not have to close but I understand why the Government is considering it because children are great spreaders of illness.

My main concern has been public exam classes because psychologically it can be quite upsetting for a kid close to a GCSE or A-level exam to be suddenly asked to leave school.

Schools have got to all be doing this now just in case. Heads have got to make sure that within an hour they can say the school day carries on as normal from home.

 

Taking advice from affected countries

Mark Steed, principal of Kellett School in Hong Kong, has said that UK headteachers have approached him for advice in dealing with coronavirus in schools.

His British International School is one of many schools in the region that have been closed since January.

School leaders are sharing best practice on how to prepare online learning platforms. People are trying to learn from the experience we have had out in Hong Kong.

I think what people haven’t thought about are the welfare issues and the strain on staff over a long period of time. It really is a marathon. It isn’t like a couple of days off for snow day.

 

How can EDLounge help you with online learning?

Through using a virtual online learning platform, you can ensure your students continue learning even if the school building is closed.

EDLounge Limited’s platform provides access to 11,000 lessons across a wide range of subjects – perfect to maintain the education of the thousands of pupils who may need to self-isolate due to the virus.

Our platform is safe and secure. EDClass+ features eyes-on learning and all staff are enhanced DBS checked to ensure that students are safeguarded. You can read more on safeguarding students at home here.

You can read EDLounge Limited’s 2019 Ofsted report here.

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