The government has advised schools to provide disadvantaged pupils with tables and chairs for schoolwork if needed.
The Department of Education has published a guide to schools on how to support children who may be at an educational disadvantage while learning remotely.
As well as keeping in touch with parents and guardians, the department advises primary schools to “provide pupils with tables and chairs to do schoolwork where needed”.
Teachers are also advised to break up work into “manageable components” to “maximise completion rates and not overwhelm pupils”.
The guide also states that pupils should be invited to submit work on an “open task” which they would self-assign themselves.
While schools have switched to remote learning in a bid to stay on top of schoolwork while schools are shut, pupils have been studying virtually and submitting assignments through emails or portals used by the school.
However, disadvantaged students may not have access to such devices and so teachers are encouraged to ask services in the community for some to be donated.
“Put out a call at local level to community services for extra digital devices that may no longer be in use to be redistributed,” the department advises.
Schools also may loan school equipment to their students.
For those who are not able to study digitally, teachers are advised to send work and materials by post and keep the school website updated with lessons, learning materials and demonstrations of physical exercise routines.
The document adds that some pupils may not have responded to remote learning initiatives and schools should identify staff members who are “best placed to make contact with the parents and guardians” in order to contact the child.
“Once contact has been established, its frequency will depend on the identified needs of the pupils concerned; in some cases, for example, it will be daily,” the department adds.