Covid-19 school closures: Making sure that home learning works for everyone​

At Learning with Parents, we are working hard to ensure that every child is supported at home to fulfil their academic potential. Over the last few weeks, our small team have achieved an incredible amount towards this vision, with support from partners, trustees, and volunteers. I hope to share with you some of the steps we have taken to support as many families as possible during the current pandemic, whilst driving systemic change for the longer term.

In the last weeks the demand for our flagship Maths with Parents programme has rocketed as disadvantaged families need our help more than ever and our work with other organisations has intensified.  We are proud to have been part of the response to the crisis, working with BBC, NCETM, charities, researchers, schools and families. We also know that the need for meaningful home learning will extend far beyond the current school closures as the sector mitigates the disadvantage gap widened by this crisis.  We are proud to be supporting families across the UK today in the current situation, and look forward to increasing our support for them into the future.

Our response has included:

 

Free Maths with Parents support for schools

To ensure that as many families as possible still have access to high quality learning at home we rolled out our Maths with Parents programme for free to state schools across the UK. Within the first month we have had over 700 schools register for this support and are supporting tens of thousands of families

Through the Maths with Parents platform, teachers share fun hands on activities that support families to bring maths to life at home. These are provided with videos presented by children to support parents unfamiliar with the methods taught in school. Schools are be able to keep track of their children’s learning, monitor engagement and release topics to match their curriculum.

 

TES article

We were delighted to see so many education organisations creating and sharing new resources to support parental engagement in their children’s learning at this time. However, we were concerned that such resources may not explicitly consider the barriers that disadvantaged parents may face in accessing them. This risks helping to widen rather than narrow the disadvantage gap. We wrote an article in the Times Educational Supplement to share some of the key considerations with organisations and schools and advice about what we know does and doesn’t work. 

 

Parental Engagement Webinar

To further ensure that organisations working with parents focussed their efforts on the most disadvantaged families we hosted a webinar titled “Supporting disadvantaged parents to engage in their children’s learning”. You can watch brief highlights below or the full version on Vimeo. We were joined for the webinar by over 100 different education organisations, and 50 more have watched the full recording since.

I am immensely proud and thankful for the work that our team and our supporters have put in over the last few weeks. We are responding with urgency to the current situation whilst building, with extensive support from Bain & Co, a sustainable model to build the fair education system that we all want to see. We are working hard to ensure that the education system harnesses the potential of this crisis to drive meaningful change, so that every child is supported at home and at school to fulfil their potential.

If you would like to collaborate with us in this crucial work I would love to hear from you.

Tom

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