Warwickshire County Council has said its schools are now increasing the use of telepresence robots to support children who cannot attend.
It said that 14 schools in the county have now made use of the technology to help children who are sick or have physical or mental health challenges.
This follows the success of trials that began shortly before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The schools are either buying or loaning AV1 robots, which are carried from lesson to lesson by a classmate, are fitted with a camera, speaker and microphone, and provide a two-way audio and one-visual channel between the class and the absent pupil.
The latter is able to follow the lessons and maintain social contact with their friends through an app on their phone or tablet computer. The council said some children have taken the robots into the playground or to lunch to stay in touch with their friends.
Access to learning
Cllr Kam Kuar, Warwickshire’s portfolio holder for education, said: “It’s great to be able to make the best use of technology to support students who are unable to attend school due to special educational or medical needs. By using the robots, our students have been able to access learning, communicate more effectively and be fully included in the school day without needing to be onsite.
“The results we have seen have been impressive and have shown how important the use of technology can be in our schools to help students stay connected to their class, teacher, and friends.
“Thanks to the success of the pilot, several schools across the county are now using the robots and more have signed up or have invested in their own. By trialling this forward thinking technology, Warwickshire is leading the way reinforcing the county’s commitment to providing an inclusive education for all children and young people.”
The AV1 robots are supplied by Norwegian company No Isolation.