A Devon education “listening” event will take place on Wednesday 24th February, organised by Cllr Su Aves (St Sidwells and St James) of Devon’s Children’s Scrutiny Committee with Hannah Packham, the National Education Union (NEU)’s Regional Secretary. The discussion will bring together Devon teachers, school staff, parents, students and everyone with an interest in education to focus on priorities and aspirations for the county, both during and after the COVID pandemic.
After brief introductions from the panel, participants will be asked to break out into smaller groups by area of interest to focus on their biggest concerns, and the questions they would like answered from Westminster policymakers. Topics will include primary, secondary, further education and universities, as well as Special Education Needs, and protecting the pre-school sector.
Cllr Su Aves says “We really want as many parents, teachers, governors and other residents to come so we can make sure the whole diversity of Devon educational experiences and ideas form part of our policy understanding. As well hoping to create opportunities for positive changes in Devon, we will be communicating the key findings to Shadow Secretary for Education, Kate Green, at a public event we are putting together for Wednesday 17th March.”
Event panellist Cllr Rob Hannaford (Exwick and St Thomas), who is Chair of the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, added, “COVID has flagged all kinds of issues for Devon, including major inequalities between different families’ home experiences, between schools, social development, and exam results. Teachers, parents and students have dealt heroically with home-schooling, in some cases under unimaginable strain. Our job in Children’s Scrutiny is to build awareness, shine a light on what’s working well and sort out what’s going wrong, and this is an opportunity for us to do more, in more parts of Devon.”
“Equal access to education, the broken assessment and accountability system, cuts and escalating workloads are ongoing priorities for the NEU,” says Hannah Packham, “After COVID-19 we also need reform of our assessment and exams systems to make them fit for the future.”
Devon residents are invited to register at the following link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/138193964869 for the event, which will be hosted by Devon Labour.