Author Archives: Robin Webber-Jones

Working with teachers

Following the COVID-19 crisis, as Liberal Democrats, we have a clear call to action we cannot squander – to ensure that all those that have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic have not done so in vain.  Our action must be to support education, experts and other to express their opinions, to engage in intellectual tussle, and to be trusted to develop systems based on values rather than league tables.

Michael Gove’s Education White Paper in 2010 perhaps sent us a glimmer of a world that was going to go wrong.  Even its title was set to diminish a key component of education.  It was called ‘The Importance of Teaching’.  It was not called ‘The Importance of Teachers’.

Slowly the sector became de-professionalised and inspection regimes became increasingly politicised.  This was all a foreshadow of what was to come across many aspects of government.  Indeed, Richard Horton, the Editor of the Lancet (for 25 years) has been scathing about systematic failures in the government approach to science (at the end of January the Lancet published 5 research papers from the world regarding the potential effects of COVID-19, all of which appear to have been ignored by government).

Yet a future generation of children the world over are inspired by the work they are seeing people do, and their resilience is equally inspiring to all of us currently seeing them cope with being ‘locked down’.  They are being inspired to be experts (doctors, teachers, nurses, those working in logistics and retail).  Inspired to use technology to learn.  Inspired to play.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments
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