Recovery Learning: Pass the Baton
12 March 2021 by Ed
Curious Minds have published an open letter to Gavin Williamson to encourage a post covid ‘Summer of Creativity’ for children and young people. We have a nation of children and young people that have adapted quickly and valiantly to virtual, online learning with a level of resilience that only children can show. That said, there is widespread concern about the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on their mental health and wellbeing.
Add your name here to an open letter to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE, Secretary of State for Education
Dear Secretary of State,
This summer it’s time to pass the education recovery baton to the nation’s expert army of creative educators, to give our children a summer of creative fun, friendship and freedom wherever they live.
We welcome last week’s announcement that £200m of the government’s ‘education recovery package’ is to be ring-fenced to deliver face-to-face summer schools with a focus on incoming Year 7s. We are writing to urge you to think differently about how this summer learning offer should be delivered.
School leaders and teachers across the country have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide a high quality education to our children and young people. We feel strongly that the burden should not fall on them to plan and deliver holiday learning provision.
We also have a nation of children and young people that have adapted quickly and valiantly to virtual, online learning with a level of resilience that only children can show. That said, there is widespread concern about the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on their mental health and wellbeing. As we emerge from another period of sustained lockdown, children and young people across England deserve to be able to look forward to a summer of creative freedom, friendship and fun as they reconnect with their friends and community. Incoming Year 7s especially need access to summer learning opportunities to grow their confidence and practice their social skills so that they are ready to learn at secondary school.
Last year Curious Minds and 96 cultural organisations and teaching artists from across the North West collaborated to deliver compelling ‘on the doorstep’ summer learning clubs to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of children transitioning to secondary school following lockdown. Inspired by what we achieved together and by the positive feedback from the children, their families and schools, we want to remind you that across the country there is an expert army of creative educators ready to take the education recovery baton from teachers this summer, to ensure high quality summer learning provision is in place for incoming year 7s – wherever they live.
Many of these dedicated and skilled educators are cultural freelancers and creative practitioners whose livelihoods have been dramatically affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Aiding their recovery so we don’t lose this vitally important section of the children’s workforce brings an additional benefit to this approach. The school-artist partnerships forged this summer could go on to make a significant contribution to wider education recovery plans over the coming months and years.
We know from recent experience that the educational expertise within the cultural sector can be mobilised rapidly, at scale, to deliver the recovery learning outcomes children and young people need.
We call on the UK Government to use funding ring-fenced for Summer Schools to mobilise the vast army of professional educators that exists within the nation’s cultural sector, to deliver a compelling programme of summer learning activity to meet the post-lockdown learning and wellbeing needs of our children and young people.
We would be delighted to work with you and school leaders to make this happen.
Signed by Derri Burdon, CEO of Curious Minds
On behalf of Curious Minds and the Bubble Up Delivery Partners