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Distance Learning Policy

This policy establishes the expectations for Online/Distance Learning between a CAVMS student and teacher from a private home.

Learning applies to lessons/courses where students are not able to meet with teachers or other students

The purpose of this policy is:

  • to ensure a high-quality learning experience for Online/Distance Learning students.
  • to make clear the responsibilities of all parties involved and the delivery of the lessons.
  • To safeguard all parties involved (this is in addition to CAVMS’ Safeguarding policy).

Ensuring the quality of the lessons

CAVMS is committed to providing a high quality experience to our students in the online/distance learning environment. CAVMS’ approach is to design the online learning provision that focuses on the following key areas:

  • Adhering to our GDPR policy
  • Structure and content - a guide for teachers
  • A guide for parents

Reporting of concerns by a child

A parent/carer or responsible adult should be within earshot of the child during the online lesson. Students will be told that if they have any concerns before, during, or after a lesson they should ask the parent/carer for help. This could include for example:

  • Technical issues with the computer or internet connection.
  • Practical issues, such as arranging the appropriate space to play their instrument.
  • Other issues, such as not being comfortable with what is happening in a lesson.
  • Tuning of or problems with the instrument.
  • Allowing additional time to set up the technology.

The parent/carer should be aware that the reporting of any safeguarding concerns is the same as under general CAVMS policy.

Mechanisms to identify, intervene, and escalate any incident where appropriate

CAVMS’ online tuition safeguarding follows the same reporting process as with face-to-face lessons. Any concerns can be addressed to CAVMS’ Designated Safeguarding Leads (names and contact information are as per CAVMS’ Safeguarding policy).

Keeping a record of who uses the system in order to address any safeguarding issues that may arise.

CAVMS teachers are expected to use a register to record which students have attended online lessons in the same way as with lessons in schools. This means any queries can be addressed.

Professional behaviour and dress.

As lessons will happen in an informal home environment, it is important that both teachers and students follow the same behaviour as they would in a school environment. This will help minimise any safeguarding risks, and thus advice to staff, parents and students includes:

  • Having a parent or carer within earshot of the student taking part in the online lesson.
  • Appropriate dress (e.g. not wearing pyjamas). Both staff and students should wear clothing that would normally be worn in public.
  • Following the teacher’s instructions.
  • Asking the teacher before leaving the session (e.g. to go to the loo).
  • Not taking phone calls, messaging others, or using devices that aren’t requested by the teacher for learning.
  • Not having other browsers or apps open during the online lesson to reduce the risk of inappropriate content being displayed.

Location of online lessons.

The location in which both students and teachers take part in the online lesson should be in an appropriate room (not in a bedroom for example), and within earshot of a parent or carer. This will ensure the student can raise any concerns, whether practical or related to safeguarding.

Whilst space in houses may be limited, and may be shared with others, the CAVMS teacher will work with the parents to make sure that whatever space is available to use is neutral, safe, conducive to learning, doesn’t reveal any personal information, and doesn’t present a safeguarding risk.

In order to prevent inappropriate content being shown to others via the webcam, the background shown should ideally be neutral, and not create a risk of offensive or age-inappropriate content being displayed. For example, there shouldn’t be a TV or screen switched on, or posters that may cause offence.

Teachers in particular should receive sufficient training to be able to lead by example and be aware of making the background visible in their online teaching professional and neutral. Teaching space should not reveal any details about the teacher’s personal life. Care should be taken to remove anything that would not be appropriate in a face-to-face lesson either, for example, personal items, laundry drying, or anything that may distract students.

Teachers should check with the student at the start of the lesson if they feel comfortable in the environment and that they can stop at any time.

Parental involvement and Expectations

Having the support of a parent/carer in setting up the lesson is often needed. And being within earshot is important for safety as well as for practical help. Parents are expected to be present at the start and finish of lessons wherever possible.

The level of involvement of the adult during the lesson will depend on the age of the student. Younger children may need a person in the room to help keep them focused and safe, particularly if it’s a new activity. But too much parental involvement can also be distracting or cause shyness with older students. In general, it is recommended that after the first few lessons, the parent/carer is within earshot but not “in the lesson”, particularly with older students wherever possible.

Taking screenshots and recording video of sessions.

Teachers will not make any video recordings or screenshots of sessions. Students will also be instructed not to do this, and this will be noted in the guidance for parents.

Although teachers don’t have control of the student’s devices, and so relies on trust, this will minimise the risk of images of children being made or distributed without parental consent.

Although having recordings of sessions available is useful if there are any safeguarding queries, the situation in normal face-to-face lessons is that video recordings of lessons are rarely available, and as parents/carers are asked to be within earshot of the online lessons, the risks associated with online lessons are no different than they would be in a school room with glass door or windows.

Use of Personal Data

GDPR – Children’s personal information

CAVMS teachers will make all arrangements for sharing of resources and online lessons directly with the parent (not the student), and will not collect any information about parents’ personal IDs or logons.

Students are asked not to share any personal contact information with teachers or other students (such as social media names or phone numbers). If there are any issues with students doing this, the teacher will remove the student from the online session and contact the parent/carer to discuss how to stay safe online.

Parental Consent for online tuition

CAVMS uses an online signup form for lessons in school. Online tuition will only take place with express parental consent in addition to the enrolment for lessons.