Remote Working Guidelines for Colleges

Remote learning on this scale is new to us all, so we have provided some guidance to ensure professional standards are maintained to a high level during this time.

Professional conduct

Teachers will maintain the same sense of professionalism they would demonstrate whilst at college. This includes:

  • maintaining an appropriate teacher/student relationship
  • dressing appropriately
  • finding the right setting if delivering sessions from the home
  • not having personal information on display
  • reminding students about appropriate conduct
  • encouraging students to find a place where they can stay focused with minimal distractions.

 Keeping learners safe

Teachers will ensure that they support students and their supporters (if appropriate) to stay safe at home and online. This includes:

  • knowing themselves who the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is at college and how they can be contacted, and referring students to the DSL if they have concerns about their safety or vulnerability
  • alerting the student and their supporters to the DSL, how to contact them independently and how to report any concerns they may have
  • sharing changes to policies or information (such as safeguarding) with the student and their supporters and explaining its relevance to them
  • confirming student and supporters’ emergency numbers are correct
  • completing agreed attendance record
  • providing training and support on online safety for the student and their supporters (if appropriate)
  • checking that the college’s filtering and monitoring system works effectively on hardware used to communicate with students
  • ensuring online learning and remote packs comply with privacy and safeguarding guidance

Person-centred approach

Teachers will try to accommodate the individual circumstances of the student and their supporters when devising learning. This includes:

  • thinking about working and living patterns of the student / their supporters
  • respecting the needs of other individuals in the house who may need to share learning spaces
  • Understanding what access the student has to technology and when
  • Understanding the skills of the student and their supporters to access, maintain and trouble shoot those technologies
  • incorporating learning activities in at “real times” when the household is already engaged with that activity, such as cooking a meal
  • identifying different supporters to work with the student on different tasks depending on their expertise, willingness and availability
  • establishing additional support for people where English is a second language

Teachers will work carefully with the student to identify the right support for them at home. This includes:

  • understanding that many young people over the age of 18 will not want their parents involved in their learning. However, they will aim to establish agreed “supporters” with the student who are best placed to assist the student to engage with the remote learning offered.
  • understanding that the support a student receives may be virtual rather than physical and considering how to best engage with the student and their chosen supporters.
  • working with the student and their chosen supporters to review their learning strategies and how they best like to engage in learning at home.

Teachers will carefully consider cultural differences when setting and delivering learning. This includes:

  • contextualising the learning so it becomes more “real” for that student
  • creating safe spaces, for example, through setting clear ground rules for communication
  • welcoming alternatives, being open to new ways of doing things suggested by the student and their supporters
  • using media effectively, for example, by training students and their supporters (where appropriate) to use technologies effectively
  • celebrating diversity, by encouraging students to share information and considering diverse activities which develop a range of experiences.

Maintaining continuity of learning programmes

Teachers will work closely with the student and their supporters (where appropriate) to agree how to continue the student’s learning programme and where necessary, how to adapt it. Teachers will need to be realistic about what can be offered remotely and ensure that students and their families also have realistic expectations. This will include

  • setting up a remote review meeting to check understanding of the student’s targets and goals
  • identifying which existing targets can be worked on at home and the approaches needed to achieve this, including working out how to transfer planned learning online or otherwise to the home environment and identifying where new material will be needed
  • identifying new or adapted targets and how these can be worked towards including learning materials, resources and approaches
  • planning the format for the learning programme, including for example real time sessions, course work or assignments delivered physically, recorded training sessions such as sport or occupational therapy and check in phone calls
  • agreeing with students and supporters how progress will be monitored and recorded and feedback provided
  • inputting into a college system for recording progress

Whatever, the approach the student and their supporters (if appropriate) should have a clear idea as to what is being delivered, by whom and when and how progress will be monitored, and feedback given.

Teachers will carefully consider the appropriateness of the content they are delivering to ensure it supports the student to achieve their targets/goals. This includes ensuring:

  • it is directly relevant to the student’s individual targets and will support their progress
  • it is age-appropriate and takes into account the student’s own interests, preferences, needs and aspirations
  • existing good practices (e.g. in terms of diversity and inclusion) continue to be observed
  • it reinforces online safety and/or positive health and wellbeing practices.

Use of technology

Teachers will only use technology and processes agreed by the college to communicate with students and deliver remote learning. This includes:

  • only using college laptop and phone rather than personal technologies
  • following any health and safety requirements identified by the college for working with technology or physically delivering learning
  • ensuring safety systems on hardware are not compromised or turned off
  • identifying any potential breaches to the technology to both agreed IT support teams and also the student (and their supporters if appropriate) to protect everyone’s security.

Teachers will enable students to have access to the relevant technologies to aid their communication and learning. This includes:

  • the student having direct access to specific pieces of assistive technology they require to communicate, remain mobile and learn.
  • understanding who to gain support from if there are issues with the equipment
  • gaining advice about different online assistive technologies the student may benefit from.

Keeping in touch

Teachers will maintain communication through the channels agreed with the student. Teachers will ensure that they communicate using the agreed technology or systems provided by their college to ensure communication is secure. This includes:

  • agreeing how the student and their supporters (if appropriate) want to be communicated with and how regularly
  • ensuring if teachers are unavailable that this communication is supported by someone else on a temporary basis and that this is carefully explained to the student and their supporters
  • ensuring that the student and their supporters (if appropriate) have independent access to provide a compliment or make a complaint
  • having a communication plan which addresses questions like – how/where to send questions? How quickly will you respond to emails? How to reach you with any urgent needs or questions? What sort of regular communications you will send out? Other plans you have for how you will be available to students and how you will send out regular information and updates?

Keeping students engaged and motivated

Teachers will carefully consider how to keep students engaged and mentally healthy. This includes:

  • building in learning activities which improve levels of resilience and well being
  • maintaining regular agreed support and actively listening for cues that the student (or their supporters) may not be physically or mentally well
  • encouraging physical activity and/or breaks between learning activities to stretch, hydrate or unplug!
  • encouraging students to stay connected, for example through scheduling a group chat with other students
  • helping students (and their supporters, where necessary) access additional help or support from within college, and, where appropriate and in discussion with colleagues, from external sources.

You can also download this Guidance on Remote Working as a word document.