Inclusive virtual education for the excluded

Educating young people during the pandemic has been a social challenge. Overnight, schools and students have had to adapt to virtual teaching. Our education system is rooted in face-to-face teaching but the pandemic has forced schools to quickly develop online programs. Getting to grips with technology and delivering succinct lessons virtually has also created opportunities and allowed students to continue learning during lockdown. This has also been a steep learning curve for teachers learning to deliver lessons via TEAMs. The development of virtual learning should be seized as an opportunity to continue an alternative method of offering education to students unable to attend school. This new knowledge could be used to support students excluded from their schools either on a permanent basis or a few days. The common practice for students with mental and behavioural difficulties is that they are referred to alternative provision outside of the mainstream or sent home with work to complete . his means losing contact with their peers and school community and the classroom work. Using virtual learning for excluded students would allow them to have continuous access to their familiar teachers and be part of a physical lesson (albeit virtually) and would remain part of the school community. This would lead to a more fluid reintegration back into the classroom as the students would have kept pace with the learning and connection to their school. For Permanently Excluded students the continuation of online teaching would support the student remain part of the local school. It would also allow them a greater breadth of subjects as Alternative Provision placements usually only offers limited subjects. Access to the school classroom via online learning would also give new opportunities to the Travelling community allowing them to have a consistent access to one school whilst they travel.




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