Ofsted has told a panel of MP’s that there is “no expectation on learning” during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the latest Education Select Committee dialog, Amanda Spielman echoed comments made by the Education Minister last week that safeguarding vulnerable children was “priority”.
She also said she was concerned for the future of children “without motivations”.
“Attainment gap to widen,” says Ofsted
Ms Speilmen, who is Ofsted’s Chief Inspector of Schools in England said the pandemic would disadvantage the poorest, lowest-achieving and least motivated children.
“Whether we like it or not, it is going to widen gaps, especially in the short term.”
She said she was “seriously concerned” about the impact of school closures on disadvantage students and stated: “The longer the closure, the greater the problems for those children.”
“We know that children are losing education. It is not just children who are disadvantages or academically behind, it is children without motivation. So it is in children’s interests to get back to school as soon as possible.”
You can watch the full Education Select Committee here.
Concern over safeguarding in the community
Amanda Spielman added that social-care was “the very busiest” area of Ofsted’s work.
“We have every reason to think that this (pandemic) is putting more pressure on a lot of families – we’ve all seen the reports around increased domestic violence.
“We know some families will be under significant financial pressure – and financial strain does not help families’ situations. It seems very likely that there will be more children needing social care.
Also speaking at the meeting, Matthew Coffey (Chief Operating Officer at Ofsted) said: “They (Ofsted) are doing a variety of tasks, depending on the needs of the local authority. Local authorities in the very early days identified a big demand based on their assumption and the number of staff that they would be short.
“As time has progressed either those predictions have come to fruition or indeed they were overly optimistic or pessimistic. We have shifted around the number of staff which we have placed.
“Our inspectors will be working with the vulnerable children’s team within a local authority. Looking at where those children are in schools and working through with the local authority to find those children that haven’t been seen at school.”
No expectation on learning
Amanda Speilman added that while there were “clear expectations” about safeguarding – there were “no expectations from the Government on learning.”
She said: “We need to recognise that education has been substantially disrupted and will continue to be disrupted for some period after schools reopen, given what we know about likely expectations around social distancing and shielding.
“We need to make sure that parents get the assurance they need that schools are looking after their children properly.”
How EDLounge can help provide vulnerable students with quality education
Despite the pandemic, providing a high quality education for vulnerable students remains EDLounge’s priority. We have access to over 11,000 lessons with subjects including Maths, English and Science which is coherent with the UK curriculum.
Safeguarding is ensured through EDLounge via methods including alert mechanisms, instant/video chat and eyes-on learning. All EDLounge Limited staff are enhanced-CRB checked.
You can view the 2019 Ofsted report on EDLounge here.
For more information, call 01909 568 338.