Schools Must Provide Remote Education from 22 October

Author:
Samantha Hale
Partner, Education & Community Care Solicitor
Date:
05/10/2020

From 22 October 2020 it will be mandatory for a large number of schools in England to provide children of compulsory school age, or in reception but not yet 5, with remote education if they are out of school because of specific reasons relating to coronavirus. This means they aren’t permitted by law to travel or attend school or where going to school goes against guidance on Coronavirus.

This could be for reasons such as:

  • Your child has been somewhere at the same time as someone who has recently tested positive for coronavirus
  • Someone at home has tested positive for coronavirus (e.g. a family member) which has prevented your child from going to school
  • Any other incident in which your child needs to isolate because of coronavirus

The Secretary of Education, Gavin Williamson, has put these changes in place from 22 October 2020 until the end of this school year in the summer of 2021.

Our Education Solicitors understand how difficult the coronavirus pandemic has been for children and families and we have been supporting children throughout.

With the majority of children being out of school from March until September and some schools having to send entire year groups home to isolate already, it’s clear to see how disruptive Covid-19 has been to many children’s education.

We welcome this change to Education Law which means that children will be able to access school resources and continue their learning and development even when they cannot attend school.

What Schools does this apply to?

It applies to all of the following schools in England:

  • Community Schools
  • Community Special Schools
  • Foundation School
  • Foundation Special Schools
  • Voluntary Aided Schools
  • Pupil Referral Units
  • Non-maintained special schools
  • Academy Schools
  • Alternative Provision Academies
  • Independent Schools, where they have registered pupils whose education is funded by the Local Authority

What if My Child’s School doesn’t Provide Work for Them?

If your child is unable to attend school because of reasons relating to coronavirus on or after 22 October and the school hasn’t provided them with any school work to do while isolating, you should contact the school first.

It’s your school’s responsibility to:

  • Provide work that your child can do at home
  • Make sure there’s a way they can give your child feedback on their work
  • Check in on your child’s progress even while they’re at home

You should always speak to the school first if they haven’t provided your child with the support they need. If your child doesn’t have the provision to carry out their work, then ask the school what they can provide for your child at home.

Schools are working hard to adapt quickly to the changing law around the coronavirus restrictions. But if your child is not getting the support they need, it’s important that you let the school know before you take matters further.

If you have spoken to your school, but your child still hasn’t received the provision they need for their education then we might be able to help you.

Get in touch with our Education Solicitors today.

And if you have any other questions about the laws around schools during coronavirus, see Legal Q&As on Schools Reopening in September.

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors

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