Pupil engagement and motivation remains concern for schools teaching remotely

pupil engagement
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New Ofsted report reveals parents and school leaders are concerned about pupil engagement and motivation during remote learning

Ofsted’s in-depth study on remote education has found that whilst many schools are doing a good job of mitigating children’s learning loss, keeping pupils motivated remains a challenge.

Nearly half of parents said that keeping their child-focused was a top concern, along with motivation and having enough contact with teachers. This was also echoed by school leaders.

The report explores the challenges schools, teachers and other providers face in meeting the government’s new expectations around remote education and looks at the solutions they are finding to make sure children get a good education while away from the classroom.

Report findings

The report also finds:

  • 60% of teachers surveyed said they were confident they were providing a high-quality remote education when this was needed.
  • When developing remote education, most leaders said they focused on making sure pupils were learning what they needed to, rather than focusing on the technology.
  • Many school leaders do not see remote education as a barrier to curriculum delivery and believe learning opportunities, levels of pupil engagement and expectations should be the same regardless.
  • Nearly two-thirds of parents of a child with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) said they had been disengaged with remote learning, compared with almost 40% of parents of children without additional needs.
  • The report highlights the potential benefits of remote learning in the long term, such as providing teaching for snow days or extended periods of illness or absence, to minimise learning loss.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said:

“While remote education will help to mitigate the learning lost when children are out of the classroom, it’s clear that pupils’ motivation and engagement remains an issue. This, along with the pressure remote learning places on teachers and parents, is proving a real barrier to children’s learning and development.

“Despite the challenges, I am impressed by the flexibility and innovation shown by teachers and leaders involved in our research. I hope these insights will be valuable to schools that are still developing their own remote education offer.

“My thanks to all the teachers and school leaders across the country whose continued efforts mean that children can still receive a quality education, even in such difficult circumstances.”


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