THE number of pupils in Powys accessing education resources online has increased.

Figures show that logins to the Welsh Government’s education website HWB have gone up by more than 300 per cent in Powys, during the lockdown period.

Around 80 per cent of pupils have had some teaching online.

But some pupils have lost interest and are ‘disengaged’ from learning online and have better things to do, according to data compiled by the council.

The data was revealed in answers by Powys County Council’s education portfolio holder, Councillor Phyl Davies under the questions at anytime process.

Liberal Democrat and Green group leader Councillor James Gibson-Watt (Glasbury) asked if any evaluation had been done to find out how effectively online learning had been organised and delivered in Powys?

Cllr Davies, (Blaen Hafren – Conservative) said: “At the highest levels, across Powys, there have been approximately 80 per cent of pupils engaged in learning.

“The focus of a majority of the learning activities have been to support children’s wellbeing.

“The majority have been off-line activities or active learning opportunities which allow pupils to develop and apply their independent learning skills.

But, he said that there had been a fluctuation in pupil engagement.

Cllr Davies said that one of the problems that PCC had overcome was making sure that pupils had computers and also internet connectivity to access online learning.

Laptops had been loaned to 880 families and Mifi 4G dongles had been given to 500 families who have internet connectivity issues.

Cllr Davies, added: “Schools report that children are engaged in other activities through choice rather than those set by schools, for example, farming.”

He added that schools were contacting pupils to check on their wellbeing.

At the start of the continuity of learning plan Cllr Davies explained that schools were organised into clusters around a high school.

They designed and agreed a plan at cluster level, to ensure a consistent approach.

Challenge advisors from the education service were assigned to each cluster to support them.

The second question came from Chairman of the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee, Councillor Peter Roberts (Llandrindod South- Liberal Democrat).

He  asked for a percentage of pupils, broken down by school, who have accessed  HWB lessons?

HWB is the Welsh Government’s education website and all pupils in the country are given access to it.

Cllr Davies, (Blaen Hafren, Conservative), said the figures were based on the number of logins rather than number of pupils going online

“If schools use their own systems, networks or applications outside HWB we cannot account for these,” added Cllr Davies.

The login figures are:

Nov 2019 – 49,468

March 2020 – 129,206

April 2020 – 133,506

May –  169,720

This week pupils returned to Powys schools for the first time since March  to “check in, catch up and prepare” over the next four weeks ahead of the new school year.

Part of the work being done before the end of term is to ensure that pupils can access online learning.