Jewish schools are preparing to grapple with the challenge of providing distance learning ahead of the national school shutdown on Friday.
The government announced on Wednesday that schools would close at the end of the week although some provision would remain for the children of key workers and some with special needs.
A-levels and GCSEs have been cancelled in summer.
Even before the announcement, the Jewish Leadership Council’s schools network, Pajes, and Jewish Interactive, the London-based digital education specialists, had begun training teachers on how to deliver programming online.
Some Jewish schools already shut the gates this week.
Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Pajes, said, “While schools have been preparing for this eventuality for the past few days, delivering remote learning is complex and is going to place considerable pressures on the schools.”
He added, “This is a new reality and one that will be challenging for use all. Methods of learning will need to change and the role of schools and parents in the education of their children will be transformed.”
Pajes was “working with schools, supporting governors and school leaders, as well as curating further education resources, methodologies and supporting guidelines”.
Kirsten Jowett, chief executive of the United Synagogue-run Jewish Community Academy Trust, a consortium of five primaries, told parents and staff that the government’s latest directive was “not that simple” for schools.
“They are asking schools to stay open for all children of keyworkers and vulnerable children. We have not yet received guidance on what this means,” she said.
JCAT would be looking to provide a solution on a consortium-wide basis “if allowed”, she said.