Covid's classroom class divide: How private school pupils still have full timetables while 700,000 state pupils get NO home lessons at all because some teachers are 'embarrassed'

The startling inequalities in lockdown learning are laid bare today after it was revealed that an estimated 700,000 state school pupils are not being set any work by their teachers.
Some schools have simply decided against online lessons because they say many children have only limited internet access. 
Astonishingly, one head teacher said teachers might feel 'embarrassed' about teaching on screen.
And as teachers' unions continue to frustrate plans to re-open schools on June 1, many schools expressed reluctance to put extra pressure on parents, preferring to let families concentrate on health and wellbeing.
By contrast, private and state schools in more affluent areas insist it is business as usual and boast virtual lessons and full timetables.
Some schools have simply decided against online lessons because they say many children have only limited internet access (file image)
Some schools have simply decided against online lessons because they say many children have only limited internet access (file image)
The full extent of the nation's classroom divide is exposed in a survey of primary and secondary heads and governors that provoked anger among education experts last night.
It shows that more than ten per cent of secondary schools have not been giving pupils any work since the summer term began earlier this month and do not intend to do so, while 8.2 per cent are offering just 'one learning activity per day'.

The results are similar for primary schools. Unions have strongly urged teachers not to live stream lessons. 
The Campaign for Real Education said it was 'outrageous and immoral' that disadvantaged children risked being 'thrown on the scrap heap'. 
And leading educationalist Professor Alan Smithers warned some children were missing out on their education completely and their life chances could suffer.
Wildly varying approaches to remote learning were revealed in the poll of 900 heads across England, conducted by The Key, a national information service for heads and governors.
Many schools favour a full timetable of lessons and activities with a 'school-like routine'. 
More than half the primary schools polled and 27 per cent of secondary schools said they were setting two or three activities per day. 
Six-year-old Leo (right) and his three-year old brother Espen complete homeschooling activities suggested by the online learning website of their infant school, as his mother Moira, an employee of a regional council, works from home near Huddersfield
Six-year-old Leo (right) and his three-year old brother Espen complete homeschooling activities suggested by the online learning website of their infant school, as his mother Moira, an employee of a regional council, works from home near Huddersfield
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Most of the secondary schools – 38 per cent – set four to five activities. But it is those that are not producing anything – 7.1 per cent in the case of primary schools – that are causing concern. 
If the results were extrapolated, it would mean around 335,580 primary children and 342,475 secondary children are in schools that are not setting any work.
Lord Andrew Adonis, a former schools Minister, has written to the chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman urging her to ensure 'adequate online teaching and support'.
He told The Mail on Sunday: 'I am not talking about a full timetable but I do think it is reasonable that there should be some interactive contact and teaching each day, and for older year groups quite a lot. 
'Firstly, because of the value of teaching but secondly because day-by-day contact keeps pupils motivated and that helps parents enormously.'

The Labour peer added: 'The private sector is, by and large, making that provision and they know parents wouldn't pay the fees if they didn't. 
'Meanwhile, we the taxpayer are, quite rightly, continuing to pay teachers so it is absolutely reasonable that we should expect that they are teaching children to the best of the school's capabilities.'
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'I pity those kids from under-privileged backgrounds who are being let down. All children matter.' And he accused some teachers of exploiting the lockdown for 'a welcome break'.
Prof Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research, said: 'While those fortunate to be from good schools are receiving close to a full timetable, others are missing out completely and they are likely to be the already disadvantaged. 
'The huge variation in learning opportunities at home underlines the importance of getting children back to schools as soon as safely possible.'
Parklands Primary School in Leeds, classed as outstanding by Ofsted, is not running online lessons because staff have not been trained to deliver them and some might feel 'embarrassed' about teaching via screens. 
Head teacher Chris Dyson, said only 18 per cent of his pupils have a laptop at home. 
'At a school like mine, there may only be one electronic device between four children, so a strict timetable that's all screen-based just isn't going to work,' he said.
For the first two weeks of the lockdown, the school did not set any work but it is now providing 'learning opportunities' through Seesaw, a learning app.
Earlier this month, the Government said it had committed £100 million for remote learning for 'those who need it most' with the new Oak National Academy, a national online school, providing video lessons, worksheets and quizzes related to many subjects.
While some schools are directing families to online resources, there is little or no contact between pupils and classroom teachers. Other schools are setting work but not necessarily marking it. 
A teaching assistant at a South West London primary said she has had no contact with her school since lockdown began and believes there are many others in the same position.
Clapham Manor Primary School, in South London, said the technology and resourcing needed to plan lessons of any kind, including live teaching, 'is something our teachers simply do not have access to from home'.
The mother of a pupil at a state primary school in South London said: 'The sum help we have for home-schooling is a weekly worksheet – one side of A4 with a few ideas of what to do with children – sent round via email on a Friday.
'My fear is that by catering to the lowest common denominator to keep things equal, schools will end up creating even more of a gulf between rich and poor.'
At Beaumont School, a secondary in Hertfordshire, headteacher Martin Atkinson told parents that although many of them would like live lessons, teachers do not have to provide them because it may not be possible for some and it could disadvantage students who do not have devices and 'cause them to fall behind'.
One frustrated state school parent said: 'Private schools are doing live teaching, state sector parents get home learning packs. We've not heard from anyone at school for two weeks. Why can state sector teachers not actively teach online and stay in touch with the kids?'
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A survey last month by the Sutton Trust, a charity that strives to improve social mobility among children, found pupils at private schools are more than twice as likely to receive daily online tuition as their state-educated peers.
'Education is suffering big time,' said the trust's founder and chairman Peter Lampl. 'It's really hurting children in moderate and low income households.'
The independent Royal Hospital School in Ipswich began to teach its 750 pupils remotely on iPads provided by the school as soon as lockdown began in March.
A daily timetable of live lessons is provided by the school. Becky Haywood, whose son is in his GCSE year, said the transition to online learning had been seamless. 'It has been really positive. As a result, I don't feel the lockdown has particularly impacted my son in terms of learning,' she said.
Many state schools offer similarly impressive provision. At Ursuline High, a Catholic girls' school in Wimbledon, South West London, every pupil has a tablet and six online lessons a day. Parents are informed if their child does not log on at the start of the school day.
Covid's classroom class divide: How private school pupils still have full timetables while 700,000 state pupils get NO home lessons at all because some teachers are 'embarrassed' Covid's classroom class divide: How private school pupils still have full timetables while 700,000 state pupils get NO home lessons at all because some teachers are 'embarrassed' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:48 Rating: 5

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