Comment in response to attendance figures for English schools reaching their lowest ebb

“Attendance figures for English schools have reached their lowest ebb this week since the pandemic first hit in March 2020 – with almost a quarter of students (1.7 million children) absent from school as we approach the end of a very challenging school year. After a yearlong, unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, in which schools’ ability to operate a blended learning model – with some pupils in class – others forced to study from home – now is the time to build on the good work schools fought tooth and nail to achieve over lockdown and establish a hybrid working model that schools, pupils and parents, can build upon for the future.
“But, in order to do so, teachers must be at the heart of this change, operating with complete confidence in the technology in their classrooms – virtual or otherwise.  The success of blended learning is dependent on each and every teacher having an understanding of how best to operate it to achieve the outcomes they demand – and for some, that’s something they will need to review over the summer break given that, according to a recent RM study, 51% of teachers felt they needed a greater understanding of the technology in order to ensure their pupils receive the same high quality teaching online and off.
“Ultimately, however, the benefits of remote or blended learning speak for themselves – as well as ensuring that no pupil is left behind, they can help reduce teacher workloads, enrich lessons, aid greater collaboration for all, and improve relationships between student and teacher (and parent).  By continuing the technology revolution we’ve seen in schools over the last 12 months, our educational establishments are able to continue to overcome whatever obstacle is thrown at them – whether that is another national or local lockdown, a snow day or even a flood to ensure education remains a priority in every school and every household.”

Simon Carter, Director at RM: