Britain needs a "nightingale moment" for students, argues the child commissioner

Britain needs a "nightingale moment" for students with additional funds for teachers and distance learning in the event of a second lockdown, argues the Commissioner for Children

  • Anne Longfield said schools need a bailout that is on par with the economy
  • She asked for more money for a possible return to distance learning over the winter
  • More than £ 35 billion has been spent on the vacation program alone

Britain's children need a "nightingale moment" or the country is risking "losing a generation forever," warned the child commissioner.

Anne Longfield said schools need more funding to train teachers, care for their most disadvantaged students and provide mental health services.

She also called for more money to be made available to prepare educational institutions to return to distance learning in the event of a second lockdown.

Children lost more than five months of education in the past year after the national lockdown was introduced in March and the government failed to bring them back to school until the summer.

She compared resources devoted to education to the £ 35 billion spent on vacation and millions more spent building nightingale hospitals and maintaining public transportation.

The pictured Child Commissioner Anne Longfield warned that Britain could "lose a generation" without rapid intervention.

"The government needs to be brave and at the scale that builds hospitals in weeks and pays workers on vacation to make sure no child is left behind," she told The Guardian.

“If not, you risk losing a generation for good. The stakes are just so high.

"Children didn't have their Nightingale moment during the crisis, but if it comes to that point where there is a determination to do things differently for children and help the most disadvantaged people in life, it would be a great Nightingale- Moment."

She added that children should never have the same level of disruption in their education again and further closings should only come as a last resort.

She also called for targeted intervention for the 120,000 vulnerable teenagers who were previously excluded from school.

She also said that children should never be exposed to such educational disruption again (inventory)

She also said that children should never be exposed to such educational disruption again (inventory)

"After five months of dropping out of school, they may feel like school is not part of their lives," she said.

“They will be the children who are more vulnerable to violence, foster care, and gangs. They need special support and encouragement to go to school and real intervention.

"I'm talking about youth workers who work with the police, schools and social services to make sure they have a package of support and protection so they don't fall out and get lost."

Up to £ 1 billion has already been allocated to help schools catch up through supportive learning. Much of it focused on one-to-one and small group classes.

The government has so far pledged £ 1 billion to help children catch up on missed work

The government has so far pledged £ 1 billion to help children catch up on missed work

Up to £ 350 million of this will go to caring for disadvantaged children, with the remainder being split between elementary and secondary schools over the course of the school year to help any children who have lost their time in school.

However, Longfield said that wasn't enough, pointing out that children have missed months of education because of the lockdown.

The government has kept its feet by the fire for the past few weeks following the disastrous test debacle.

Thousands of students attending high school or university were given scores developed by an algorithm based on past schools' performance before the government turned and gave them the grades their teachers had predicted .

It turned out that around 280,000 students had noted their results after moderation by the algorithm.

Anne Longfield will step down as Children's Commissioner in February after serving six years.


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