After much deliberating by government, schools on Plague Island have needed to return to online learning. Please refer to our previous Note ‘The Issue of Schools’, dated 5.1.21. Remember that Caveat King said on 3.1.21 that there was ‘no doubt in my mind’ that schools were safe to return to; that primary aged school children should absolutely attend where open. Schools were then closed the very next day after millions of children and staff had already mixed together in the classroom for the whole day.
In the widely-read Plague Island tabloid, The Daily Mail (which will be called The Daily Fail here from now on), it’s been reported that Gavin Williamson, regrettably the UK Education Secretary, is now advising parents to report their children’s school to Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education) if they are dissatisfied with their school’s remote learning provision.
Williamson said that schools have a legal obligation to provide, “high-quality remote education” to pupils at home.
Fair point, you might think.
Perhaps. But it is not a clear point. It is of the utmost importance to remember here that school heads were told by Gavin Williamson to prepare for classroom learning. Not online learning, because that was absolutely not going to happen, okay? Before this, schools were also to be in control of mass Covid testing of school-aged children, which also needed to be prepared for, as well as the usual business of teaching children and preparing for exams. Let’s not forget that most schools have had funding cuts since 2010, which has affected both the delivery of lessons and staff numbers.
Combined, it must be realised that these are simply impossible tasks to have achieved in such a microscopic time-frame. All dumped on the heads of schools at extremely short notice. The only consistent thing they were told was that schools were going to OPEN. Except when they’re closed. Then that somehow becomes the fault of schools and their poor planning.
Schools need to be offered the support of Ofsted, not threatened with the might of it.
We’ve got to start seeing what is happening here. Schools have not had time to prepare because of the usual dithering, mixed-messages, demands, u-turns and general confusion caused by the government. Whilst parents may be unhappy with how their children’s remote learning is going, ultimately the buck stops with the government.
The government want parents to be angry with schools and turn against the teachers – our fellow hard-working ordinary people – who provide education to our children, because next time the teachers and teaching unions stand up to the lunacy of the government, they want you to be on the government’s side. It’s the old trope of be angry-at-teachers, ‘Lazy teachers, they want schools to stay closed so they don’t have to work! Sitting at home, getting paid for doing NOTHING!’
But this is how their power manifests: divide and conquer. It’s what they always do. It’s the oldest trick in the book and we all have to start waking up.
When it comes to standing up to the government, when they’re clearly taking the wrong actions for the wrong reasons regarding our children’s welfare and education, we must stand together.
~ L&A 8.1.21 10:30am ~
schoolsweek.co.uk have reported that parents have been writing to Ofsted in defiance over Williamson’s underhand appeal to report their children’s school. Parents have been writing instead to praise their children’s school, and to criticise Williamson!
5,000 emails so far.
After posting this note, make that 5,001.
The wheels have to be at least starting to come off.
Contact Ofsted: https://contact.ofsted.gov.uk/contact-form
A little hope always
~ L&A 8.1.21, 7:25pm ~