7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
18th June, 2020
As we seek a way out of the pandemic, how will our schools system need to change and how, ideally, should it change for the future?
For weeks, schools have been closed to all but the children of key workers and the most vulnerable. To a far greater extent than ever before, teachers and parents/carers have shared the task of educating young people. Meanwhile, exams for the ‘class of 2020’ have been cancelled, to be replaced by teacher assessment.
Some groups of learners have faced particular pressures. Those without easy access to the Internet have had to forego online instruction and resources. Learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families have temporarily lost access to the facilities, expertise and capacity provided by schools, in a system already under strain.
Equally, the needs of the families least able to withstand the pandemic’s impact have exposed the vital pastoral work of schools in their communities.
Sat behind these headlines are very human stories of pupils, parents/carers and teachers all feeling the struggles of separation, from each other and from familiar routines, and concerns to protect health.
Since COVID-19 arrived, where has our schools system been able to rise to the challenge, and where has it struggled? What have we all learnt from having to do things very differently?