New Support Coming For Home School Learning

The government is working on a new project to give Jersey parents and carers more advice and resources to help with home learning while schools are closed.

'Learning At Home' will include webpages to support children aged between 4 and 14 who'll be worried about home learning, coronavirus and the impact it will have on their education.

"Teachers are doing everything that they can to support students to learn at home. And I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone across the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department for the huge amount of work that has been undertaken to provide continuity of learning for students through online platforms email and other resources, particularly where access to digital resources is more limited.

"I also want to acknowledge again the work undertaken to support staff and schools through opening schools for critical workers and vulnerable children and for our teachers to access resources. This is critical to supporting students and their ongoing learning." - Senator Tracey Vallois, Education Minister.

Parents are being asked to fill out this short survey ahead of the project launching.

Because of the lockdown measures put in place by the government to limit the spread of Covid-19, schools will not re-open until at least 1 May.

The Education Minister has signed a Ministerial decision to keep the majority of schools closed until then, except for those that provide places to support the children of critical workers and some vulnerable children.

The government says parents, carers and students 'will be advised in a timely manner' if the closures are extended.

Mont al’Abbé and Le Sente will still be open for those pupils for whom detailed, health-led risk assessments indicate it's safe for them to attend.

"I recognise that this is a challenging time for everyone. However, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of reinforcing the messaging around health advice from the Government of Jersey to stay home. Abiding by these measures will save lives." - Senator Tracey Vallois.

There's also been an update on the process for giving grades to students due to take exams this summer.

Jersey schools and colleges have to submit a grade they think each of their GCSE, AS and A-level students would have got if they took their exams by 29 May.

They should be based on evidence such as:

* Classwork

* Bookwork

* Participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama and PE

* Non-exam assessments - even if they haven't been completed

* Mock exam results

* Previous exam results.

* Any other records of student performance.

Exam boards will then put these grades through a model being developed by Ofqual 'to make sure that grades are as fair as possible.'

"We are all focused on making sure students are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances, including allowing for an appeal where appropriate. We will consult on proposals for specific appeal arrangements soon.

"Students will also have the opportunity to sit exams at the earliest reasonable opportunity in the new academic year - we are working across the sector to plan for how and when these additional exams will take place."

Schools and colleges have been told not to share these grades with students, parents or carers under any circumstances until after the final results are issued. The UK government says this is to protect the integrity of centres’ judgements and to avoid anyone feeling under pressure to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence.

It's hoped the results can be delivered a little bit earlier in August so students have the certainty they need.

"School or college based assessment already has an important role in many GCSEs, AS and A levels and in extraordinary circumstances such as these, schools and colleges are best placed to judge the likely performance of their students at the end of the course.

"We have worked closely with the teaching profession to ensure that what we are asking is both appropriate and manageable, so that everyone can have confidence in the approach. I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers and school leaders for making this process work for students during these very challenging times.

"We have published a message to students to reassure them that we, and exam boards, will do everything we can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions." - Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual.

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