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Quality of Isle of Man lockdown lessons divides parent opinion

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image captionSchools were closed to most pupils on the island between 23 March and 22 June

Almost half of parents surveyed by the Isle of Man government were unhappy with the delivery of online lessons for schoolchildren during the lockdown, a report has found.

It outlines 10 recommendations for improvements following the survey.

Education Minister Alex Allinson said changes would be made to ensure "pupils receive the best education possible".

A total of 549 parents and carers, along with 38 pupils, took part in the survey.

Of those, 49% of parents and carers said they were dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with the volume of remote learning provided, while 48% were satisfied.

Similarly, 45% said they were unhappy about the quality of the learning, while 44% were satisfied of extremely satisfied.

Schools on the island were closed at short notice on 23 March to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, reopening to all pupils on 22 June.

image copyrightReuters
image captionOnline lessons were delivered to pupils while schools were closed

In a parallel poll, 263 teachers and other staff at the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) responded.

By contrast to the views of parents, 91% of DESC staff were either very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the volume of lessons, and 87% said the same about the quality of the learning.

The review found that schools adapted quickly to the sudden closure - with 66% of parents and carers saying online work was provided either immediately or within the first week.

That sentiment was mirrored by 88% of DESC staff.

Amongst its recommendations, the report said the DESC should ensure teachers had access to high-quality online education resources and staff received the appropriate training to deliver them.

Dr Allinson said the recommendations would "help all of us involved in education to build resilience and confidence in our service and ensure our young people can achieve their potential".

The department "must learn" from the experiences during lockdown so that schools were "better prepared" should they have to close again, he added.

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  • Coronavirus: Isle of Man pupils and parents asked for remote learning views