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The move to remote issues throws up a huge range of safeguarding issues, both in terms of protecting children AND teachers.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of resources out there to help you navigate rough this minefield. David Winfield from RocketLearn has given us a quick checklist of his top five tips for remote learning – we hope they are useful.
• Sit against a neutral background
• Avoid recording in your bedroom if you can (if that's not possible, use a neutral background)
• Dress as you would for school
• Double-check that any other tabs you have open in their browser would be appropriate for a child to see if you are sharing their screen
• Use an account which is for teaching purposes only (this may involve setting up a new email/YouTube persona)
2. Using YouTube for Online lessons
YouTube can be a great way to provide access to videos. Two “musts” to protect your children are:
3. Understand the chat function
Whilst the chat can seem like a useful function if children have questions and do not want to turn their microphone on and speak it can cause a number of safeguarding risks, not to mention act as a distraction to the lesson you are trying to teach. All platforms enable you to turn the chat off, a quick google search will give you instructions on how to do it whether you are on Zoom, Teams or Google Meets.
4. Have a plan for one-to-one phone calls or meetings
In school one-to-one conversations with pupils would take place with doors open and in sight of others. Online this is more difficult. Teachers should ensure one-to-one communications take place on school equipment, ideally on a phone belonging to a parent with a parent present, and if consent is given, the call can be recorded. It is also useful to ensure another member of staff is aware the call is taking place. Keeping a log of one-to-one phone calls and sessions can also be useful for referring back to.
5. Protect staff and child wellbeing
Last week was Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week and it could not have come at a better time. Children, parents and teachers are all finding online learning difficult for a myriad of reasons. Whatever you can do as a school to help will be appreciated.
Thanks to David for these helpful tips. In light of the safeguarding issues surrounding live lessons RocketLearn is offering pre-recorded lessons for schools accessible via YouTube rather than live teaching. RocketLearn is currently offering free lessons and online work for primary schools across the UK. To receive a copy of these via email please click here.