The Department for Education has released a “remote education framework” to support colleges and training providers to identify “areas for improvement” in their online teaching.

The voluntary framework has been designed to be adapted to “fit the context of your provider” and to “signpost them to resources that can help them improve their practice”. 

It comes days after the DfE published operational guidance which asks FE providers to “use your best endeavours to deliver as much of students’ planned hours as possible” during the national lockdown.

There are two framework documents: one for schools and another for FE.

The FE document states that it can help providers to meet “basic requirements” using the resources and tools they “currently have (digital or physical) and to take your remote education provision further”.

It encourages FE leaders to allocate a score of between 1 and 5 to a number of “statements”, which involve six categories: leadership, student engagement, curriculum planning and delivery, capacity and delivery, communication and safeguarding.

“Where possible, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and discuss next steps with members of the senior leadership Team and governors,” the framework says.

“The framework offers suggested actions and links to relevant support depending on scores and any gaps identified.”

For example, under curriculum and delivery, the document asks if the FE provider is “working with employers to ensure continuity of off-the-job training, assessor reviews and planning for end-point assessments”.

There are boxes for the provider to then explain their ‘strengths’ and ‘gaps’ in this area, and directs them to the DfE’s guidance on how to deliver apprenticeships during the Covid outbreak.

Providers are encouraged to work through the entire framework with the senior leadership team, which should take approximately one hour to complete, or “focus on specific sections that have been previously identified as priorities”.