Remote teaching and learning during the Coronavirus outbreak

These are extraordinary times and so advice for more ordinary times may not fit. On the other hand it is perhaps the most important time to keep hold of the ‘rules’. In a crisis, there are always people who will use the difficulties for their own advantage. 

The product used for interaction and the format is important. Live streaming video and audio is a concern, so an asynchronous method would be better. For example, creating a video and using school email address to ask questions or discuss points afterwards. Live video can be mitigated a little by ensuring that a recording is saved in the cloud and is accessible by the DSL, Head of Department, etc. This would give a recording to review if necessary.

Choice of remote learning product is also important. For example, in the one I use, Demio, you can upload a video, play it out and use the chat box as it plays. The chat is downloadable and could be reviewed. The product used should be a corporate product and not a teacher’s personal account.

Live Webcams in teaching and learning – safeguarding issues to consider

  • No 1:1s, groups only (The biggest risk on remote learning with 1:1s is around grooming, so the risk assessment must mitigate against this risk.)
  • Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
  • Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
  • The live class could be recorded and backed up elsewhere, so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed.
  • Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background
  • Schools should risk assess the use of live learning using webcams
  • Data Controllers need to reassure themselves that any teaching/learning software and/or platforms are suitable and raise no privacy issues; or use cases against the providers terms and conditions (for example, no business use of consumer products)

Also have a look at some of these other resources: 

Safer remote learning during Covid-19: Information for School Leaders and DSLs (Kent)

Coronavirus, What You Need to Know - Professionals & Parents

Safe Remote Learning (SWGfL)


Safeguarding Guidance (LGfL)