Our Education Secretary Camilla Turner asks Gavin Williamson how revolutionary he is prepared to be in his education plans, and whether he believes the Covid generation’s life chances are as good as those of other generations.
She asks Jenny Harries what assessment has been made of wider damage to children’s development by not being able to see their friends or grandparents.
“We always need to have children at the heart of everything we do,” Mr Williamson says. “Every change made to our school system has got to be focused on driving change and improvement. And there’s a number of areas that we need to be looking at. One of those is making sure we’re always driving up the quality of teaching, making sure children are getting the very best teaching.
“The second is looking at the time children are learning, and targeting children in the best possible way. It would be wrong of me to try and preempt what (education recovery tsar) Sir Kevan Collins is going to come forward with. But that will be based directly on the evidence and what works.
“I am absolutely certain we are going to do everything we can do for all of our children to make sure they’re not set back by this pandemic, that their life chances are not stinted. We are not going to be timid in our aspirations for them and the actions we will have to take to deliver for them.”
Dame Jenny Harries says that missing education has negative physical and mental health impacts on children, and there are many figures in children’s lives who are particularly important who they have not been able to see.
She says she is sure that the vaccine roll-out is going to be “very positive” in line with the roadmap.