The Department for Education
Remote learning during COVID-19
In response to COVID-19, the Department for Education (DfE) is offering support to schools and trusts in England to set up an accredited digital education platform.
Funding is available to ensure expert support is available to schools to set up G-Suite for Education.
What’s on offer?
Trusts, state-funded primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units that do not have such a platform are eligible to receive funding from the Department for Education – that is:
- £1500 to £2000 for state funded schools
- Up to £1000 per school in Multi Academy Trusts (MATs)
Implementation of this programme includes:
- Setting up your G Suite for Education domain
- Setting up individual accounts for both students and staff and allocating administration privileges
- Creating ‘Classes and Groups’ in Google Classroom
- Configuring the Google Apps to best practice settings eg. only allowing staff members to start Meet video calls and limiting specific functions for students.
- And much more, find out what other support is included by getting in touch with Wizkids.
What is considered to be a “digital education platform”?
According to the Department for Education, a digital education platform can help you to:
- Assign and assess work, providing feedback remotely
- Communicate with staff, pupils and parents, using written word, voice and video
- Facilitate collaboration between groups of pupils and teachers
- Open up opportunities to broadcast assemblies and lessons to pupils
The platforms are purpose-built for remote education in a way that a school website isn’t.
Education platforms can support children both in the classroom and at home, they can help improve parent-teacher communications and increase engagement with homework.
Adopting these platforms now will facilitate new ways of communication to improve teaching and learning, as well as the efficiency of the school’s operations for an increasingly digital future.
What support is funded?
Google’s G Suite for Education is a free-to-use platform, but eligible schools/trusts can now apply to receive funded support from an accredited partner to help get set up and trained on your chosen platform.
Set-up funding for individual schools varies across phases: eligible primaries will receive £1,500 and eligible secondaries £2,000. Funding for academies in trusts is capped at £1,000 per school, with no cap for larger trusts.
Is my school or trust eligible for support?
This support is available to state-funded primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units in England that:
- don’t currently have a digital education platform; or
- are already using Office 365 or G Suite, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils (and haven’t made accounts for all pupils).
How do I apply?
Schools and trusts can apply via The Key:
The Key also provides feature comparison and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms and impartial advice on which platform is right for your school.
Trust leaders should consider the benefits to all your schools being on the same platform under one tenancy, such as instant communication between staff across schools. In this instance, you should apply directly for schools within your trust.
Schools and trusts can contact Wizkids, a certified Google Premier Partner for free guidance.
What other help and support with remote education is available?
DfE has launched the EdTech Demonstrator programme, a network of schools and colleges funded to provide peer-to-peer support on making the best use of technology to support remote teaching.
EdTech Demonstrators are schools and colleges across the country who exemplify excellence in their use of technology and provide training:
- through webinars and recorded content, as well as direct and bespoke support for the schools and colleges that need it most.
- on how to use digital education platforms effectively to support pupil’s education and to communicate effectively with the school community.
- on related content on digital safeguarding, supporting pupils and teacher wellbeing remotely and using technology to help support the needs of students with SEN.
Support can be tailored to the needs of your school/college and will be based on your start point, confidence in technology practices and the time available to senior leaders to engage in this CPD offer.
The programme is free to all state-funded schools and colleges across England. Those new to the use of digital education platforms or in receipt of devices from DfE are especially encouraged to engage in this programme.
You can find out more about the programme and register your interest in receiving free support here.
The DfE has published guidance on safeguarding and remote education (read more here)
Wizkids as your Google Partner
We are a Google for Education Premier partner with a team packed full of Google Deployment specialists, Google Educators as well as Certified Trainers and Innovators. We will take you through the entire process, including support with the application to the Department for Education to claim funding.
We’ll take care of the technical side of things so there’s no technical expertise required and you can choose how much or little time you spend on the project.
Choosing Wizkids means you will receive a fully dynamic and customizable MIS sync tool. Once this is set up, all accounts and Google Classrooms are kept up to date automatically so you don’t have to worry about any changes to school membership!
Once set-up, ongoing technical support and account management come with our service. Wizkids also offer additional services should you want to maximise your usage of the Google platform, including: migrations of existing data, Chromebooks, Google licencing, training and much more.