Education recovery: Let’s stop the eye-catching policy wheezes

Education recovery must not be put at risk by rushed, unproven solutions before we have understood the problem we are trying to solve, says Geoff Barton

If we had to sum up what we have learned from the past year in a single word, what might that word be? It is difficult to boil down so many experiences, particularly when we are still living through them. But one word that comes to mind is “humility”.

The natural world has taught us a lesson about the frailty of the systems on which we rely and in which we put such store. Economies, health and education services, travel, hospitality – all have been put under terrible pressure.

In education, we have learned that bringing millions of children and adults into schools and colleges every day and delivering a full curriculum is no mean feat. It is a hugely complex exercise that can be more easily derailed than we might have imagined.

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