On Friday 5 February, I laid before Parliament the Education (Coronavirus, Remote Education Information) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which require schools to publish information on their website about the remote education they are providing to their pupils. If schools do not have a website, the regulations set out alternative requirements for ensuring that this information is accessible.
The regulations come into force on 12 February 2021, which is seven days after being laid, rather than the 21 days required by convention. This is to ensure parents have the earliest access to the information they need about schools’ remote education. The Department for Education has published a suggested template that schools may use to present this information.
The requirement for schools to publish this information on their website will not be more onerous than what has already been asked of schools in the guidance, “Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak”. This guidance was updated on 3 December 2020 to include an expectation that schools would publish this same information by 25 January 2021.
On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced that all schools would immediately move to remote education provision for all but vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. The Prime Minister’s statement on 27 January confirmed that full return to on-site education will not occur until 8 March at the earliest.
Remote education has become the principal means of delivering the school curriculum. Requiring schools to set out the details of their remote education curriculum will provide parents with key information about schools’ plans for ensuring pupils continue their education at home.