‘We no longer look to our politicians to solve national problems,’ education union boss says


The public “no longer” look to politicians to tackle the country’s issues affecting young people and education, the head of a leading union has said.

Geoff Barton from the Association for School and College Leaders (ASCL) said government efforts had been “pretty woeful” over providing food for the poorest children and the move to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a speech to the union’s virtual annual conference, the leader relayed steps taken after the Second World War – including the raising of the school leaving age and a commitment to training up teachers – aimed at supporting education.

These efforts were driven by “the reforming zeal of a small, bold cadre of politicians”, the ASCL general secretary said.

“This pandemic has shown that – unlike after WW2 – we no longer look to our politicians to solve national problems,” he told delegates on Monday.


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