We Broke Education In The UK During Coronavirus

What has been your experience of education during the lockdown ? I’ve been doing daily remote lessons with my six year old niece - the materials from her school were disappointing at best; my nephews are 2, 12 and 14 and the support for the older boys in Wales was worrying to say the least.

The inability of educational institutions to deal or use technology is pathetic. But the range of tools they need to come to terms with is also confusing. I have not found a single decent education platform, so I’m working to develop one.

I should explain that I have a degree in Education Technology, have advised many education foundations, sat on the Course Board of a major university for a decade and currently Chair an E~learning company. As well as being a part time KS1 teacher. Oh, and forget taking a company public on NASDAQ - my biggest achievement was taking an immigrant kid from Angola with learning difficulties and winning the Next Big Thing competition for North London schools entrepreneurship. I really care about this.

Talking to friends and colleagues I’ve heard of everything from pupils being required to wear uniforms and virtually attend lessons for several hours a day to absolutely no support at all. Sometime for children within the same family attending different schools!

One thing is crystal clear - our education system in the UK is a total mess and the institutions responsible for its oversight need to be disbanded and reconstituted. The privatisation of education should have inured the sector, but the reality is that it seems to have made things worse.

I do not know what experience colleagues in other countries have had - I’ve been active in the US, where we set up emergency schools during Hurricane Katrina and am currently working in many, many other countries, but I have little sense of what the front line experience is currently. Please let me know your experience.

My starting point would be to have a CTO for every education establishment - in some cases this would be a technically inclined teacher given the appropriate support and in other cases they would head a large tech department. 

The fragmentation of education in the UK with the utterly ridiculous ‘academy’ and ‘free’ schools has resulted in an idealogical raping of learning by the Tories. The existence of religious schools does not help when learning is leveraged for dogmatic purposes.

During lockdown every child should have been given an equivalent learning experience delivered by their teachers, who are still earning their salaries. And the monitoring agencies should have continued with their work.  Instead we have the usual dog’s dinner which exemplifies the chaos Boris Johnson calls ‘government’.