Education technology for inclusion – manage persistent school absence with the telepresence robot, AV1.

1.7 million pupils
(24.2% of all pupils) in the UK were estimated to be persistently absent in the Autumn term 2022/23
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Long term absence puts students at risk of loneliness and social isolation. We research these issues and believe that inclusive technology can solve them.

AV1 is a telepresence robot that ensures no student misses a class, break time or conversation with friends. It is more than remote learning – it is the next best thing to being there in person.

A child or young person might require inclusive distance learning for reasons such as:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Various medical needs
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Learning difficulties
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental health (anxiety, EBSA/school refusal – read this case study)
  • And many more.

View AV1 case studies.

local authorities have provided AV1 to schools & students in their area
Learn more about the local authorities we work with
Photo of an AV1 robot on a desk in a classroom during a lesson. Its expression is curious. Other students are smiling and raising their hands.

How does it work?

From home, hospital, or even another room at school, the student participates in class through the AV1 app.

The AV1 robot has a camera, microphone and speaker. It sits on the students desk, and through an app they can see, hear and speak through it.

From home or hospital they can see, hear and speak in lessons as AV1 has a camera, microphone and speaker. They can turn it to view every corner of the classroom, and interact as if they were physically present.

The AV1 robot is a blank slate. Students can name it, decorate it, whatever makes it feel like the person it represents. After the initial introduction, AV1 integrates in the same way as any another classmate.

They can turn it to view every corner of the classroom, and raise their hand if they want to ask or answer a question. The interaction gives a feeling of really being there.

A blue light on its head indicates ‘passive mode’ – when the student is not up to participating. This means they can join the class on their terms, even when unwell.

You can take the AV1 robot anywhere: classrooms, playgrounds, school trips. All it needs is an internet connection – either WiFi or an included 4G sim. This enables small everyday interactions and check-ins that go beyond simply watching a lesson over video.

The AV1 robot is a blank slate. Students can name it, decorate it, whatever makes it feel like the person it represents. After the initial introduction, AV1 integrates in the same way as any another classmate.

It also helps the student with reintegration – see more in the research and testimonials below.

AV1 supports...

Researchers found that AV1 lowers barriers and worries related to returning to school, because it gives the users a feeling of having been partly present throughout the absence period (Johannessen & Haldar, 2020).

Students can return after a period of absence feeling more confident in themselves because they have maintained their education and social connections.

"The robots aided reintegration by enabling children and young people to have a consistent link to their classroom and their teacher."
Teacher that took part in the Department for Education (DfE) Alternative Provision Innovation Project with 90 AV1s, May 2021
"The pupil fully returned to school and has a near perfect attendance record (after having refused to come for 4 months) so that is a great success story. He is now sitting his mock GCSE’s and is doing brilliantly."
Kirsten Roy, St Richard Reynolds Catholic College,

The AV1 at Copnor Primary School supported a student shielding since March 2020. The AV1 enabled them to feel part of the class and be vocal during lessons.

"If the student didn’t have access to the AV1 she would be completely cut off from her friends. The AV1 provides her with purpose for the day, and allows her to get the support she needs from a teacher and from her classmates."
– Beth Eddy, Copnor Primary School, Portsmouth

Brixworth CEVC Primary School have used AV1 with three of their pupils over the past two years. These included pupils with medical conditions that impacted on their ability to attend school as well as a pupil who was experiencing debilitating anxiety.

"The connection that AV1 ensured between home and school was invaluable. These pupils enjoyed maintaining their relationships with their peers, accessing learning at a level they could manage."
– Sharon Marsh, Brixworth CEVC Primary, Brixworth
"Without these devices all of the students would have missed valuable teaching time and peer input to their assessment preparation. This is the next best solution to face to face teaching."
– SEND Department, Broadland High Ormiston Academy, Norfolk
"When he started to come back the only thing we noticed was the physical difference because his participation was practically the same.

We started with a blended approach where some days of the week he accessed lessons through the AV1 then we slowly built back up to full time attendance."

– Shelley Mitchell, Attendance and Welfare Officer, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School
"AV1 has enabled one of our students to take on another course, that we don’t offer, at a different college.

Another student completing one A level with us has now increased to two because of the access she is getting with the AV1."

– Amy Pope, Additional Learning Support Manager, Strode College, July 2021
"The security of AV1 is a big selling point."
– Jack Jones, Newbridge Junior School, Portsmouth
"I can tell that the organisation has worked really hard to adhere to regulations and manage the risks."
– School Business Manager

More privacy information.

EdTech Impact AV1 reviews
"A positive option for children who are unable to attend school, and allow them to keep pace in respect of learning with their peers whilst continuing to allow social interaction." ★

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