New plan for Britain’s first state-funded ‘virtual school’

The Telegraph is reporting the latest developments over plans for Britain’s first state-funded “virtual school”, saying it could open next year with the aim of offering hundreds of children disruption-free lessons without leaving their own home…

Proposals submitted to the Department for Education would see children as young as nine log in to a web-based classroom at 9.15am before receiving up to four hours of direct tuition each day.

The school – created by the Wey Education Schools Trust – will provide lessons for children aged up to 19, with around 100 pupils in each year group.

Its backers recently made a second submission to the DfE for state funding and could open the school as early as September 2015, claiming it would have none of the behaviour problems of normal state schools.

The proposal forms part of the Coalition’s “free schools” programme – wholly new institutions run by parents groups, charities and churches independent of local council control.

If approved, the new “Wey Ecademy” would be the first state-funded online school…

It would principally cater for families that already choose to home-educate their children although the trust insisted it would also provide greater choice for other parents unhappy with the standard of education being provided at local schools.

Critics warned that distance learning was a poor substitute for actual “face-to-face interaction”…

More at: New plan for Britain’s first state-funded ‘virtual school’


See more in the TES at: How ‘ecademy’ may make virtual state education a reality


It will be fascinating to see how this works out in practice if it gets the go ahead – do you find it an exciting or worrying development? How would children grow up differently if something like this became the norm for schooling? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I think this is the way education will go but it relies heavily on a reliable, national broadband network

  2. Janet2

    Wey Education Schools Trust – set up as a ‘vehicle’ so shareholders in parent firm Zail can see a return.  Should be much easier if all you’re providing are ‘teachers’ via a video link. (scroll down).

    ‘None of the behaviour problems’.  None of the face-to-face interaction with other children, either.

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