Jail in the pocket: teachers can save the UK’s crumbling education system

This is a story about a government department looking for £8.5m and a government department trying to make the school in which they work work harder for them. So, yes, it’s all about technology…

Jail in the pocket: teachers can save the UK's crumbling education system


This is a story about a government department looking for £8.5m and a government department trying to make the school in which they work work harder for them. So, yes, it’s all about technology in education.

Last year, education secretary Damian Hinds announced the launch of “Covid” (you know, the fancy acronym from the Twelve Days of Christmas and “children of all ages can upload personal stories and make their own films”). This was aimed at making schools more creative and individual.

But what teachers have been telling us is that it’s virtually a waste of everyone’s time. So teachers were asked to put together another round of short films for Covid in an attempt to show how people could potentially get out of to facing the current problems with the sector.

I have been out at a Covid event. It’s about as well organised as a bongo concert

Sorting out why schools aren’t working for teachers isn’t that complicated, in fact. For them, it’s about students, it’s about learning, it’s about breaking down rigid roles and misconceptions, and it’s about a large variety of things. Covid doesn’t help much on this matter. As I’ve seen it previously, it’s about looking at problems from a second-hand album. They involve interactions with staff and a hope they will be enacted into solutions. It was always pretty much a management solution in search of an issue and is a comical misuse of jargon.

My school spent one of my “break-out sessions” making their film and I’ve been out at a Covid event. It’s about as well organised as a bongo concert and it barely makes any sense to anyone who doesn’t work in education, other than the few henchboners employed by a government department to look for the solution it needs.

For a three-hour session they’ve made only one film. I’ve never found anyone with a remotely good knowledge of this area. Of course, this would mean everyone who doesn’t work in education is aware of nothing. Having learnt this from being interviewed on This Morning, I’m not in any position to tell the government how to improve schools. Even if they found the solution themselves, it would be wasted. All this is doing is delaying their department’s huge task of getting £8.5m from the next spending review.

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Our school is taking part in a tour by the “creative digital schools” programme and, on Friday, we were lucky enough to meet the three English vice-chancellors who, along with a production executive, got jobs in the industry. They came to hear about the cost and value of skills used in this work and made an offer to come and work for the school. Well, what they didn’t tell us is they got their job because of what my school is doing. And they’re happy.

So there you have it, to save the education system, the government is now allowing schools to go their own way with digital work – to the point where it’s a complete waste of everyone’s time. What a shame.

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