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Remote Teaching Champions

Evidence based support and additional capacity for schools to develop remote teaching strategies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Local Authorities, School Teachers

Aimed at

Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2


Community Support, Empowering Young People, Raising Attainment, Remote Learning



Why was the project needed?

Feedback from schools in October 2020 was that not all of them had a robust teaching strategy in place to ensure effective remote learning took place for all students. The reasons for this were complex and varied, a common issue reported by headteachers was the lack of senior leadership capacity to attend to such a strategy, including the time needed to consider the evidence base on effective remote teaching.

What happened and what was the impact?

The Remote Teaching Champions project was created to provide in-school capacity, evidence-based support and bring together participants to develop a community of practice to support all students with a high-quality remote teaching offer. 

The Norwich Opportunity Area (NOA) offered eligible schools the role of remote teaching champions to take the lead for remote teaching and learning across their school. Champions reviewed and interpreted research evidence into an effective online pedagogy, and led on the practical contingency planning to establish remote teaching and learning for the school and its pupils. 

Eligible schools were invited to source additional capacity to free up a member of staff to take on the role of a remote teaching champion for 1 day per week throughout autumn and spring term, funded by the NOA. Funded capacity was offered to NOA primary schools with the highest levels of disadvantaged students. 

 The champion role included: 

  • Reviewing existing guidance about remote teaching from the existing evidence base, as provided by Norfolk County Council (NCC) and Norwich Research School (NRS). 
  • Participation in training and support on implementation planning using Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) toolkits and support from Norwich Research School (NRS). 
  • Developing their school’s implementation plan, liaising with the NRS for feedback, review and refinement. 
  • Setting out the technical / ICT choices for Remote Teaching in their school, in liaison with NCC. 
  • Leading the coordination and logistics of their schools’ approach to remote teaching within school. 
  • Conducting ongoing reviews and adaptions to their implementation plan, to respond to circumstances throughout the academic year. 
  • Engaging with monthly meetings of the Remote Teaching Champions Network coordinated by NCC to share learning, innovation and access ongoing support. 

What did and didn't work?

Providing in-school capacity, implementation expertise and a themed peer network, at the right time, made a positive impact on primary schools’ ability to provide effective remote teaching during Covid-19 lockdowns in Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021. 

Schools completed a survey and all champions said they have been empowered to lead on the Remote Teaching Strategy for their school and could point to a specific change that they had led on as champion, which had improved remote teaching provision. All schools said that sharing problems with other schools via the network was useful and all schools said their remote teaching strategy helped them improve approaches to engaging with parents and pupils who struggle to engage with learning. 

The project continued to adapt in response to school lockdowns and shifted from a focus on remote learning in autumn and spring terms, to a focus on blended learning as the majority of children returned to school. Network meetings responded to evolving needs and shifted to focusing on capturing best practice from periods of remote teaching to feed into future approaches to teaching and learning at primary phase. 

How did you measure success?

Attendance at network meetings remained strong, even beyond the school funded time for remote teaching champions. Of the 13 primary schools who signed up to the project in November and named a remote teaching champion, 11 completed a remote learning implementation plan for the end of the autumn term.


Ingredients For Success

Well timed expertise and capacity during a complex and chaotic period.

Is the Project Complete or Ongoing

The NOA Remote Teaching Champions Project is now complete.

How is the Project Sustainable

Almost all remote teaching champions intended to continue to work together throughout summer term 2021. NCC have captured specific themes and best practice from the group, which will be shared more widely as practical solutions for future consideration to improve teaching and learning strategies.  The majority of schools have plans for how they will learn from their approaches to remote teaching and have embedded new ways of working into blended approaches within their school.

What are the Long Term Impacts

We hope that the project will have a long-lasting impact on what local schools have to offer in terms of remote and blended learning options for their students, having flexibility in learning options provides an enhanced learning experience and means that schools should be able to cope better if another challenge such as Covid-19 arises.

Estimated Costs

The NOA provided funding of £5,500 per participating school.

Listening to other schools who are both similar and different in demographic facing challenges that are ongoing in our own setting, has been very helpful. I have been able to reflect on our own practice and feed back to the senior leadership team to adapt our implementation plan and make the necessary changes. 

 It’s been really good to check in with others and get ideas for how to improve different areas of remote learning. It has been good to dedicate time to this specific project. It has also been good to be told about new initiatives and deadlines for applying for things or when policies etc. must be on website. 

Feedback from educators and practitioners involved in the Remote Teaching Champions project.

Area Most Impacted

Remote Learning

Improving Attainment

Next steps to do something similar yourself

These are a list of Big Idea resources that you can use to implement in your setting:

In this Webinar you will learn about a range of approaches used to deliver blended learning during the Covid-19 pandemic and plans to continue with these approaches:

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning here

Champions and contacts


Hub Contact Details

Norwich Opportunity Area Team
Jonathan Nice, Senior Adviser, Education, Learning and Curriculum Team

Norfolk County Council

Norwich Opportunity Area Team
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