Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a strong wave of public support for key workers and this has included teachers; for example, they are explicitly mentioned on the front page of the clap for our carers website. However there are widely differing views about the crucial role of schools and teachers in enabling the economy to begin to return to something like normal. On one side the right wing press - and the Education Secretary - cleverly placed this as a call to the 'duty' of teachers, positioning 'hero' teachers in opposition to the teacher unions. On the other, many parents are concerned about the safety of schools for their children. Other UK nations - not to mention some English LAs - take the view that it is unsafe to open schools so soon, as we can see. Meanwhile, the Children's Commissioner argues that disadvantaged children need to return to school quickly.
Universities have proved their worth in the COVID-19 crisis, responding at speed not simply to their own students and research partners’ changed demands, but to the communities and the national effort. But there is a clear sense that the skies will darken once the immediate crisis abates. The concerns include a precipitous fall in international students and constrained local mobility, student retention and progression to university, and the impact of a prolonged economic recession on research and development budgets. These concerns led Universities UK – the umbrella body for the country’s 137 universities, of which I am a Board member, to develop a proposal to government for a systematic programme of support.
Dr Emma Bimpson and Dr Kesia Reeve discuss the unique and profound challenges that COVID-19 is likely to pose to mothers experiencing homelessness. Last year we completed a research study exploring the experiences of homeless mothers for the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and Sheffield Hallam University. Now that we are all adjusting to a life spent entirely at ‘home’ we have had cause to think about the mothers who participated in that research. It is difficult to imagine what the domestic circumstances described by those women – in the lead up to their homelessness and then afterwards – would look like in the context of COVID-19.
With ‘lockdown’ firmly in place, no-one can be in doubt about Government rules. However, only recently the BBC News reported anti-social behaviour being on the increase. There will be those who always misbehave, however, daily I see groups of, I'm sure, 'normally law-abiding citizens' gathered together, playing, or simply enjoying the sunshine. This is particularly concerning given the volume of media reminders.
How will education policy be shaped in the next parliament? Professor Mike Coldwell and Professor Sam Twiselton of the Sheffield Institute of Education scrutinise the main parties' manifesto pledges on education ahead of the 2019 General Election. This article is reproduced from People, Place and Policy with kind permission of the editorial team. First published … Continue reading The 2019 General Election and the teaching profession in England
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in secondary schools and Relationships Education (RE) in primary schools will become compulsory from September 2020 in England. UK Government guidance for schools was issued in February 2019 and much welcomed by academics, teachers, regulatory bodies (e.g OFSTED) and young people who had criticised current provision, delivery and content of … Continue reading Are Sheffield Teachers Prepared for New Sex Education Guidelines?