Virtual schooling in the United Kingdom

FORMBY, U.K. - March 26, 2020 - PRLog -- The closure of schools to combat Covid-19 is a dramatic response to the virus that presents significant challenges concerning the continuity of education and the pupil/teacher relationship. In an article published today by PFMConnect, David Fellows  offers some thoughts on the application of digital technology to support school-aged education at home whether made available by their normal school or stand-in facilities that come to market.

Schools in the UK are at different stages in their use of digital communication. The Covid-19 virus lockdown involving school closures is both a challenge to the continuity of education and an opportunity for schools to extend the range and sophistication of teaching aids, methods of communication with pupils and parents and collaboration within the teaching community.

The article covers design issues in relation to relevant technology including: document storage; video conferencing; document handing systems; email; and social media. It deals with the development process where the author suggests there is a need to afford scope development of the use of the technology and the concept of the virtual school and the need for a degree of consistency to retain the identity of the school, minimise needless expenditure and conserve expertise.

The author references several major virtual schools in Australia that have been in operation for some time and home schooling networks in the UK plus the material that have been development by the BBC.

The creation of virtual schooling has become particularly relevant as means of confronting the restrictions imposed in the UK and elsewhere in response to Covid-19 and presented in this article as an exciting opportunity. It is suggested that the key challenge is getting the development process right: loose enough to draw the virtual communities of a school together giving them the opportunity to offer their contributions to the development of the initiative but tight enough to provide a thread of coherence and communal learning at school level.

The author concludes by emphasising that where a virtual school is created out of an established day school under temporarily closure then it must find ways of retaining its ethos and identity. It is a challenging and yet potentially rewarding task borne out of a grave situation.

This article can be found in full at (

About the Author
David Fellows is a specialist in public financial management and digital government reform. He has written various articles on Digital Communication including an outline proposal for the creation of an international public service academy. He is a director of PFMConnect Ltd (based in London, Liverpool and Brisbane) and a recipient of the Swedish Prize for Democratic Digital Service Delivery.

David Fellows
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Tags:Virtual schooling
Location:Formby - Merseyside - England
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