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Gloucestershire Business News

Taking lessons online a challenge for teachers

The vast majority of teachers have found conducting online lessons during the coronavirus pandemic a challenging experience, according to a survey.

Research by Gloucester-based insurers Ecclesiastical found 85 per cent of teachers questioned said online lessons were challenging.

With schools closed during current restrictions - except for the vulnerable children and those of key workers - until at least February half term, online lessons are playing a major role.

Teachers said the biggest challenges are pupils not having access to devices (44 per cent) and difficulty in engaging and motivating pupils (39 per cent).

Pupils not having access to reliable WiFi (34 per cent) and teachers seeing increased email traffic (31 per cent), while 31 per cent of teachers found it difficult to supervise pupils.

One in five schools provided no additional training to help teachers conduct lessons online.

When schools reopened to all pupils in September, only 35 per cent of teachers returned to classroom-based lessons only, 31 per cent reporting a majority of classroom supplemented with online lessons while 15 per cent said there was an even split.

More than a third (38 per cent) of the teachers surveyed believe online learning is not as effective as classroom learning.

The research found 28 per cent of teachers were concerned about an increased safeguarding risk from delivering lessons online while 36 per cent of schools made changes to safeguarding practices when lessons went online - mainly rules around webcam use and recording online lessons.

Others introduced guidance on staying safe, including guidance on information security and privacy settings.

Ecclesiastical education director Faith Kitchen said: "As one of the leading insurers of schools in the UK, Ecclesiastical is passionate about supporting the education sector.

"Our latest research has found that many teachers find conducting lessons online challenging and a quarter of the teachers we surveyed expressed concerns about an increased safeguarding risk from delivering lessons online.

"As England enters its third lockdown and schools switch to remote learning, we recognise it is an incredibly challenging time for the education sector and schools need to carefully manage these risks."

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