CONCERNS about home-schooling have been raised as pupils continue to work remotely.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement on Monday, schools and colleges were closed, with remote learning to take place until the February half-term.

However many pupils are faced with limited access to equipment to allow home-schooling to take place effectively.

The situation is also further complicated by the fact Government guidance states pupils without laptops or space to study are eligible to attend school.

See also: Seagull spotted with spatula stuck in foot

Sue Vermes, headteacher at Rose Hill Primary School, said: “The lack of equipment is a barrier and there are others.

“Lots of our children have only been able to work on phones and the Government has been slow to give out equipment.

“When most of the learning has to go online, it is absolutely crucial and if you don’t have access then it’s a bit of a non-starter.

“We have quite a lot of children living in poverty and from poorer backgrounds so they don’t necessarily have that access compared to other schools.

“Now, children without access are being invited into schools and when you have a lot of children that didn’t have access you will find a lot of children will be going back to schools again which is against what the closure is all about.”

Read more: Latest court results for Oxfordshire

The East Oxford headteacher also highlighted that even when the technology is available, problems still persist.

She said: “Laptops for children at home is not something schools were expected to provide and we’re trying different things to get children engaged with their learning.

“Parents also have to feel comfortable supporting their children, especially when they are of primary school age.

“We’ve got families trying very hard and children trying very hard to carry on with their learning.”

See also: New pub team has big plans – including return of Aunt Sally

One Oxford parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said home-schooling his children had thrown up a series of complications.

“Remote learning is a very big task, the schools do expect a lot of work from the parents and we have to take time out from our own daily working duties,” he said.

“We have to be on top of understanding modern technology. Even more, we have to have access to technology.

“Having technology does not mean all is sorted as the latest software is required.

“Without the latest software we can not download the required programme or app to function.

Read also: Villagers fear new skate park will be too noisy

“That goes for mobile phones, tablets, iPads, laptops and PCs.

“I am pretty lucky that I know what I am doing and how to work technology, but even some of my technology is no longer updatable and so it’s restricted.

“Many families will simply not have enough home technology to do the work and some families will not even have access to internet at home due to the cost.

“If they have the technology, they may not have enough room in the house to work.

“I am lucky that we have a large house and I can separate the children into different areas to study, but I have issues with the WiFi, even though I have three boosters set up.”

See more: Oxford set to become first all-electric bus city

Concerns surrounding remote learning were raised earlier this week by John Howson, deputy chairman of Oxfordshire County Council’s education scrutiny committee.

He said: “With so many tech companies locally we should be leading the way, not lagging behind.

“There should be a joint school remote learning taskforce using best resources across all schools.”

The Government committed to providing over one million devices to schools and colleges throughout the pandemic, with over 560,000 of these delivered in 2020.

Over 100,000 devices are set to be distributed over the course of this week.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.