New research1 from specialist education insurer Ecclesiastical has revealed more than a quarter of independent school teachers in the UK would contemplate taking on a full-time virtual teaching role in the future. Additionally:
- A third of independent school teachers have seen an increase in virtual roles being advertised
- Two in five are more concerned about falling behind technological changes since the pandemic
- Nine in 10 schools have invested in more technology
Schools had to quickly adapt and revert to virtual teaching during the Covid-19 lockdowns and teachers believe this is a trend that is set to stay. More than a third (36%) believe there will be an increase in parents seeking online schooling as a result of the pandemic and a third (34%) expect schools will provide a combination of virtual and face-to-face learning in the next five years.
The effective delivery of virtual learning is now one of the skills independent schools look for when recruiting new staff, according to a third (36%) of the teachers surveyed
Many businesses all over the country have had to embrace remote working practices and a third (32%) of independent school teachers have reported seeing an increase in virtual-based teaching roles being advertised. More than a quarter (28%) of independent school teachers also said they would consider teaching virtually full-time in the future.
The effective delivery of virtual learning is now one of the skills independent schools look for when recruiting new staff, according to a third (36%) of the teachers surveyed. And now 32% are more concerned about falling behind technological changes as a result of the pandemic.
King’s InterHigh is an example of an independent online school which offers primary, secondary and sixth form education to children aged 7-18. All lessons are delivered online and students have access to live and recorded lessons.
Investing in technology
The majority of independent schools (91%) have invested in more technology since the start of the pandemic including laptops and tablets for teachers (41%), video conferencing platforms (40%), and homework and task management apps (38%).
Independent school teachers say a lack of funding (32%) is the main barrier to using Edtech at their school, followed by lack of digital capability and skills amongst teachers (29%).
Faith Kitchen, customer segment director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “During the pandemic, many independent schools have had to adapt to virtual learning and invested in more technology and our research suggests virtual learning and hybrid learning is a trend that is set to continue.”
The survey was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by OnePoll with 500 UK professionals in schools and sixth forms from 1-19 October 2021. 117 were from independent schools.