Londoners most doubtful of government’s handling of schools through coronavirus crisis

By Christian Smith
September 5 2020, 13.00

Londoners have less faith than the rest of England in the government’s ability to manage education during the pandemic according to a new poll.

More than two-thirds of Londoners told a YouGov poll this week they were either not very confident, or not confident at all, in the government’s ability to handle education and schools during the coronavirus outbreak.

Only 20% said that they had any confidence at all, with 11% saying they did not know.

In the North, 59% of respondents declined to give the government their support, with 56% in the rest of the South and 52% in the Midlands and Wales having little or no confidence.

A teacher at a secondary school in Kensington, who did not wish to be named, said: “The advice we receive is constantly evolving, which we accept as it’s a morphing situation.

“But there are too many contradictions on what is expected.

“Most teachers are fairly understanding of the strange times, but at least one has resigned over the holidays due to concerns about interacting with others and taking Covid home.”

The government was forced to abandon its A-Level algorithm in mid-August, after it downgraded 40% of students predicted grades.

Teaching unions and the government publicly clashed over the safety fully reopening schools.

Writing in the Guardian this week, Robin Bevan, the new president of the National Education Union said: “During the pandemic we have seen the government ignore the advice of experts, then make a hurried announcement, then dither; and it all culminating with school and college leaders being left to mop up the ensuing problems.”

Most schools in England re-opened this week, while universities’ academic year begins later this month.

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