EDClass had the privilege of speaking with the designated safeguarding person from Featherstone Academy, Barry Eaton, to discuss their use of the platform, what challenges they had and the benefits that have been evident since implementing the system for their students.
Featherstone Academy has been using the EDClass system since 2015 and the platform has successfully supported and reintegrated students on suspension or who had mental health challenges. Barry said:
“EDClass is a fantastic way of making sure students continue the curriculum when not in school. We needed a platform that offered educational online support for absent students or those not attending school for various reasons. It could be medical, mental health, or unfortunately, being excluded from school or suspended – EDClass in that regard is fantastic.”
Ensure your students are attending and safeguarded
As stated in the working together to improve attendance guidance:
“252. Ultimately schools are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of pupils educated off-site. Therefore, by using code B, schools are certifying that the education is supervised, and measures have been taken to safeguard the pupil.”
It’s important that when choosing a provision, due diligence is completed and your students are as safe as possible when they learn remotely. Barry said:
“In terms of safeguarding, we know that the students are logging on and doing their timetable. With EDClass we get alerts, about when they’ve logged on, how long for and what assignments they’ve done. It enables us to ensure the child is at home and said where they are going to be when working online.”
Safeguarding and attendance can go hand-in-hand. You must choose an environment that is going to encourage students to want to attend education, but it also needs to be safe and secure for them.
If a student is to achieve their educational potential, they need to be in an environment where they can solely focus on their learning away from distractions and claim attendance codes so all involved benefit. Barry added:
“Students are completing learning online with EDClass and it’s great because it means that they get a positive attendance code and it enables our figures to be as high as they possibly can, so it’s a great tool for that respect.”
Provide high-quality education
When choosing a provision there needs to be an assurance that the child will obtain high-quality education. As highlighted in the school inspection handbook when provided an outstanding grade:
“The impact of the taught curriculum is strong. Students acquire and develop high-quality skills and produce work of a consistently high standard.”
This should be replicated within the provision chosen. Students should be continuously assessed with designated pathways of learning that address their specific needs. Barry stated:
“EDClass is beneficial because if some students were to just stay at home and not do anything they’d fall behind. So, it’s a great tool to ensure students keep up to speed with their learning so they don’t have an extra workload when they return to school. It’s also good for preparing them for the next phase of the curriculum as it keeps them informed.
Students are learning online and can access live teaching support on EDClass and the teachers can build relationships with students.”
Make positive steps to reintegrate students
With any alternative provision, there should be steps to encourage a positive reintegration for students. You should embed a platform that provides high-quality support and allows students to focus on their personal development. Barry said:
“In terms of positivity and reintegration it’s good because they’ve been able to speak to the relevant teachers and can find a little bit of comfort with the fact that although they’re not in school, they’re speaking to somebody that’s offering a little bit of external support in that respect.”
There should be a strive towards reconnecting, re-engaging and reintegrating students with their educational journey. Whatever a student’s circumstance, we must find what will work best for them.
Use a trusted online alternative provision
EDClass has been successfully supporting students remotely for over 15 years helping re-engaging students with their education. Barry said:
“It’s a fantastic tool that we’d definitely recommend! We use it regularly for various reasons and in terms of supporting suspensions and those who cannot access mainstream schools such as mental health or SEMH.”