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The speed with which children were abandoned shows how little we value education, argues Education Forum organiser Gareth Sturdy in Spiked…

In the space of a year, the government’s response to Covid-19 has attacked the foundations and purposes of our education system. It has exposed the education establishment’s attachment to social mobility as mere pretension. It has eroded the distinction between home and school life, and has confused education with passing on information. But this transformation could only take place because for a long time now education has been built on sand. Now that those weak foundations have been swept aside, as a society we do not have coherent or even agreed ideas on what should replace them…

Read the full article on Spiked.

Gareth Sturdy was interviewed recently for David Didau’s and Martin Robinson’s podcast, It’s Your Time You’re Wasting!, about the second edition of What Should Schools Teach? (UCL Press, 2021) which features contributions from various Education Forum members. Gareth explains how the book can help teachers answer the eternal question ‘why I should I learn this?’.

The interview begins 22 minutes in, or you can subscribe to the podcast to watch the full 40 minute discussion and enter a raffle to win a free copy of the book.

The teaching establishment is livid that poor children are coming to school expecting an education, writes the Education Forum’s Gareth Sturdy in Spiked.

The third national lockdown is starting to reveal the depth of the teaching establishment’s elitism towards the education of poor children.

It took only three days of schools being closed to most pupils before headteachers and teaching unions began to express their horror at the number of poor kids turning up at the school gates because it is their only chance of getting an education…

Read the full article on Spiked.

Forum member Gareth Sturdy has written for spiked in the light of Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman’s comments on over-protecting children.

‘Anyone who has taught a class of 14-year-olds knows Tommy Two-Face. He is the loudest in the class. But, as you’re quietening them all down, he hams up a load of frustration and shouts ‘shush, you lot!’, as if he alone was blameless.

I thought about hypocritical Tommy at the weekend, when I read the latest declaration from Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, she blamed schools for a culture of over-protection. Children are being wrapped in cotton wool, she argued, by headteachers who are unable to distinguish between real and imagined risk.

Readers of spiked will raise two cheers to this. Learning should be about physical and intellectual adventure, and today’s risk-averse culture stops kids from getting the most out of their education. Wearing hi-vis jackets on school trips and banning conkers in the playground does indeed hold children back.

But as much as Spielman is right to declare that health-and-safety policies are denying pupils the opportunity to develop resilience, she needs to go further to tackle the problem of mollycoddled kids.’

Read the full article here.