Gender Balance research and the Covid pandemic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This project has been designed accounting for the current context that schools face during the global pandemic. These FAQs cover questions you may have about this context. You and your pupils’ safety, and your ability to be able to follow your school and government guidelines, are paramount.


National / Regional Lockdown

Our school is closed to most pupils/students due to a national or regional lockdown. Can we still take part?

At the time of writing we are under a national lockdown in England but this is due to end before the spring interventions are planned to start. We are continuing on the basis that schools will be able to start as planned in the spring but are continually monitoring the situation as it develops and corresponding with the Department for Education.

We will make sure that we take account of the context as it develops. If you are interested we encourage you to sign up in the knowledge that we will adapt to the changing situation and not ask you to do anything that is unrealistic given the context.

We are exploring options for taking part in interventions in a remote learning context. Where this is possible we will provide comprehensive resources adapted for this context and we are very mindful of not creating additional work for you. We will update you about whether this is possible as soon as we are able to.


Teaching in school

Are the lessons safe?

We have reviewed all the lesson resources in the context of COVID to ensure that they do not ask you to do anything that would not be considered to be safe. For example, activities that might ordinarily involve group activities or sharing resources have been adapted. We encourage you to use your judgement and follow the school and government guidelines and make changes if you need to, but we do not anticipate that our planned activities will conflict with guidelines significantly.

Will I have to adapt the lessons?

We cannot anticipate all working arrangements you may have, but we do not anticipate you will need to significantly adapt the lessons. However, if you need to make changes to how you deliver then you should feel able to change the way you run an activity to maintain this.

We have adapted the lessons as much as possible to the current context. We are very aware of the challenges facing teachers and the resources have been designed to provide comprehensive and easy to follow lesson plans for teachers and minimise any additional workload.

Can I run the lessons and activities within my school policies for COVID safety?

Your school policies and government guidelines are paramount, and we anticipate you will be able to run the activities within these guidelines.

The context of every school is different, and we know you will need to follow your school policies on use of computer equipment, paper resources and discussion activities. For some schools this may mean classes being taught or using computers in smaller groups than usual, and what would normally be class groups being taught different lessons at different times to stagger the use of computer rooms. Please go ahead with these arrangements as you are for other lessons.

Our IT access is being organised differently because of COVID, can we still take part?

For trials that need access to IT equipment, we recognise you may be facilitating this in smaller groups that usual or staggered at different times. As long as students complete the lessons activities planned and complete the surveys it is not a problem if they do this as a smaller group or bubble, or with slightly different timing.


Handling absences

What happens if my pupils/students are absent from school?

If individual pupils/students are absent then please deal with this as you would normally, integrating them back into the lessons when they return. We will ask pupils/students to let us know if they have missed sessions in the final survey to help with our evaluation.

We know absences may be more frequent than usual and will account for this. It will not be a problem for the research if there are some absences or pupils/students miss some lessons. Please do not exclude them from lessons if they have missed sessions.

What happens if I am absent from school?

If you are absent for a short time causing a gap in lessons, please pick them up where you left off as you would normally do. If you are absent for longer, and if absence means you might not be able to complete the series of lessons then please contact us and we can discuss how to proceed. For these issues, please contact genderresearch@raspberrypi.org.

What happens if I am ill and my lessons are covered by another teacher?

If your cover teacher is involved in the project, has done any online training, and is teaching it to other classes then please go ahead with them covering the lesson as per the planning. If they are not then please wait until you return and continue the lessons. If this means you might not be able to complete the series of lessons then please contact us and we can discuss how to proceed. For these issues, please contact genderresearch@raspberrypi.org.

What happens if the entire year group or bubble is sent home or the school is closed?

If a group or all of your pupils/students are unable to attend school for some time and this means you might not be able to complete the series of lessons then please contact us and we can discuss how to proceed. For these issues, please contact genderresearch@raspberrypi.org.

I have another question...

We’re keen to hear from you and help to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at genderresearch@raspberrypi.org and we will let you know the answer to your questions.