@GavinWilliamson addresses the Education Policy Institute on remote learning:

I’d like to thank the Education Policy Institute for the opportunity to join your discussion today, and for keeping their focus on this crucial issue. Of course, I’d also like to thank Apple as well for hosting the event. The Covid pandemic has changed our way of life: we do business differently… we shop differently… and of course we learn and we teach differently.

Technology moves rapidly at the best of times but no one could have foreseen how fast it would have to travel to help us navigate a way through this global health crisis.

Unprecedented problems require unprecedented solutions – and schools, teachers, and leaders have all pulled together to bring about one of the biggest shifts the education sector has ever seen.Our increasing dependence on technology has changed our entire approach to teaching with a switch to remote education.

Because we have become so used to looking at the negative effects of the pandemic we have lost sight of one of the more positive aspects and how it has changed learning for the better.

While some of the consequences of remote learning have been challenging to say the least, some of them have turned out to be an unqualified success.

First I must start by congratulating the teachers and school leaders who have made it so, and who have worked so hard and so fast to transfer their curriculum into a series of lessons and materials that can be applied remotely as well as to the classroom.

Schools are now routinely delivering high-quality teaching for up to five hours a day to children who are learning at home. This is giving them a better chance to keep pace with what they would have been learning if they’d been in school.

This pandemic has certainly brought communities closer…. as teachers and parents have often had to work together. I’m sure both have a far better grasp of what the other has to contend with as a result of this experience.This rapid shift in teaching methods means teachers have built up a wealth of experience to help make remote education smoother and more effective. For instance schools are now delivering recorded or live teaching online as a matter of course, with time given for pupils to work independently to complete assignments.

I know most teachers have probably produced their own materials to support remote education but there is also a wealth of extra resources teachers can call on.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the Oak National Academy lessons. These recorded video lessons were assembled across a broad range of subjects and age ranges by teachers coming together. Oak Academy is one of many examples of the additional help that is out there, from textbook publishers, digital teaching tools and training providers.

This has been another stand-out success in an otherwise grim pandemic landscape but it will be giving an enduring and invaluable legacy that future generations of children will be able to benefit from.I don’t underestimate the extra challenge involved in this immense transformation, which has been nothing less than a total stepchange in how children learn.

I want all school leaders to know that they are not alone in adjusting to this.Any school can get immediate free support at Get Help with Remote Education on the gov.uk website. As well as free access to digital education platforms and devices, this provides an online ‘one-stop-shop’ for all schools and colleges to help them keep up to date with the latest information and guidance on remote education, as well as tips and advice from teachers and leaders.

There are a number of designated EdTech Demonstrator Schools and Colleges that can give friendly support and advice and guidance to help schools with technology issues, including those schools whose pupils have special educational needs.

I said that today I was going to focus on what we have to celebrate in our teaching communities from the past year which brings me to something that I am enormously proud of.

From the start of the pandemic we knew that while many children would have the necessary technology and access to it to enable them to study remotely, there would be a number who did not.

I am acutely aware of the huge responsibility we have for all of our children, but none more so than those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

For this reason, my department has been engaged in a massive logistical project to deliver hundreds of thousands of extra devices to schools across the country, so that every child, especially those from disadvantaged homes, can keep their learning on track.

Now, thanks to one of the world’s largest hardware shopping expeditions, we have purchased an additional 1.3 million devices. Of these, we’ve already delivered an additional 800,000 laptops and tablets and nearly 240,000 have gone out to schools since the start of this month.

We are also working with the country’s leading mobile network operators, enabling schools to request free data uplifts for disadvantaged families.

And this really signals our vision for the future of technology in education beyond Covid… making sure that digitally agile teaching becomes the standard and not the exception, and that we continue to stretch ourselves to make the most of what technology can offer us.

I know that for EPI, today’s event is just one of a series of conversations that you are having with the sector. But’s it’s an important conversation. Because it’s not just about looking at where we are today, but making sure that we take advantage of what we’ve learnt today to make sure it’s fit for the future.

For us, the future of technology needs to be that continued conversation, and I welcome your insights on how we can work better and together to keep it going but making sure that we are delivering real change, where it is felt in our schools by the pupils who are learning.

When we eventually move on from this pandemic we will be able to look back with huge pride at what we were able to do for our pupils and students despite the extreme challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. Remote education has been a major achievement, not just for children today but for all of those in the years to come. And the revolution in learning that it will bring.

Gavin Williamson

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Alysia Parkin had a status update on Twitter 8 minutes ago

@liamgallagher I hope, I think, I know ?
View Original Tweet

Jo Moriani added a new event 11 hours

Succeeding at your Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

Overview This webinar will tell you all you need to know about how to try and ensure you succeed at your first Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

  • Wednesday, 17 March 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page