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The research provides a rapid response to a constantly changing educational environment and will use The Open University’s extensive technological platforms to disseminate the results.

Education has been one of the worst affected services as a result of Covid19, and it is vital that schools learn from their experiences and are able to strategically plan for the continuation of restrictions and social distancing, because of this, and future pandemics. Preparing leaders, at all levels to take a more strategic view of online teaching, is key to ongoing school development and will benefit staff, learners and society, not only in relation to pandemic situations, but equally, in order to complement existing provision at secondary level.

The findings of the project will be of key significance to practitioners, policy makers and school leaders both UK wide and internationally and will specifically employ various dissemination methods in order to benefit the social and environmental impacts of Covid19, both in the UK and beyond.  

The research reveals:

  • What level schools are currently operating at in terms of the 4 operational levels of online practice, and when and why were online strategies implemented 
  • What changes/ amendments to strategies leaders have implemented due to Covid19 
  • Specific ways that schools grew operationalising strategies with their staff  
  • What strategies are in place for pupils with SEN and limited tech/study space and how much help is being offered from central and local government  
  • What opportunities and challenges are inherent in the leadership and management of online learning in secondary schools in England 
  • How school leaders are responding to these challenges 
  • What key practices contribute to the success of online strategies 
  • What strategies are leaders putting in place for online learning in the future, both in response to ongoing pandemic and as part of ‘business as usual’.
  • Our impact strategy will ensure that we engage educationalists in the UK and beyond. We will do this by a) Designing and writing a 10 hour free course: ‘Strategic Planning for online learning: A whole school approach’, hosted on the Open University (OU) OpenLearn channel and through a published report including case studies of good practice.