Key Voices #71 – A look at Oak Academy’s role in supporting remote learning

“This isn’t the national curriculum online, this is a resource bank that will support you if you need it and how you need it.”

This week we talk to Anne Heavey, Specialist education lead, Oak National Academy and Director of Whole School SEND, and David Thomas, Curriculum Director, Oak National Academy and Principal at Jane Austen College, about their work to create and develop the Oak Academy offer.

We discuss how they are scaling up for the next academic year, and how they have been using feedback from schools to adapt the offer. We get more detail about their specialist offer, and how therapeutic and educational activities are being used both in school and to support students in the home.

We discuss the understandable reasons some school leaders might be resistant to using Oak Academy’s materials and hear about the various ways in which schools have been using the materials flexibly. We look ahead to the role Oak Academy might play to help schools during what is likely to be a very unpredictable autumn period in terms of sporadic absence, school and local level lockdowns.

David addresses the criticism around the lack of a formal tender process when Oak was awarded government funding and we consider the potential future for tools like Oak after the pandemic period is over.

You can learn more about Oak National Academy’s offer from September here.

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