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Schools adapted quickly, shifting focus to remote learning

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One year on – a Day of Reflection

Schools and colleges across Devon, over the space of just a few days last March, shifted their focus from learning face-to-face in the classroom, to a model of remote learning, via Teams, Zoom or other online learning platforms.

Schools, of course, didn’t close. They remained open right throughout lockdown for children of key workers and vulnerable families. Teachers were providing both in-class learning to the few, while also providing lessons for students who were locked down at home.

Some children had problems accessing remote learning because they did not have devices at home, so the government provided laptops for many disadvantaged children.

In Devon, local communities also rallied to the cause, and Devon County Council gave thousands of pounds to provide tech for young people to help them access online services including school work.

But many students were more than ready to return once restrictions lifted. As children started returning, attendance at secondary schools in Devon was nearly double the national average.

Today, more than 95 per cent of children are back in schools across the county.

Some secondary schools staggered their start in order to test all their students for coronavirus.

Dawn Stabb, Head of Education, said:

“The attendance rate of 95 per cent reflects that seen in a normal year.

“The return has been really positive across the whole of the county. We have had some great responses from pupils, parents, heads and teachers.

“Schools have done a tremendous job in building confidence and welcoming pupils back.”