A keen focus of mine throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been the issue of education. Education is an area that I hold dear, I was formerly a university lecturer at the University of Swansea and was the Chair of the Education Select Committee for over nine years. I think it is so important that we do not lose sight of the educational needs of each and every child and young person.
Earlier this week, the Labour Party tabled Opposition Day motions to improve the level of support available to young people throughout the pandemic. Our fantastic frontbench team stood up for our children and young people, their access to the technology that they need to learn remotely and urged the Government to take steps to empower them, parents and young people. You can watch my statement on the motion *HERE*.
As more and more children have had to transition to online learning, I think it is vital that teachers and other educational staff are trained appropriately in the use of technology for teaching. Since the start of the pandemic, I have called upon the Open University, with their decades of expertise, to help train teachers across the country in remote teaching. Very usefully, a representative from the Open University contacted me and provided me with resources to pass on.
The Open University has made a wide range of open educational resources available for free on their “OpenLearn” platform (which can be found here). The resources cover a wide span of subject areas, such English, Maths, History and even Politics. The resources are varied and cover a range of different types of learning. Through articles, quizzes and interactive games. The Open University produces most of its content on the “OpenLearn” platform under a Creative Commons licence, which means that it can be shared and reused by educators across the world free of charge.
The content that the Open University provides is aimed at everyone involved in education. Teachers, parents and even pupils themselves. The content is grouped in a number of ways depending on who the content is aimed at. Teachers can find a number of free resources targeted at supporting them in taking teaching online. These can be found here. I would encourage every teacher, that has not already done so, to access this content and allow it to help them develop their remote learning curriculum. I thank the Open University for providing me with these resources to pass on and for all of their hard work, as well as the work of all teachers. throughout this difficult time.
I do hope that, by Easter, with an effective mass vaccination programme we can begin to live our lives and return to some normalcy. Until then however, let us renew our commitment to keeping each other safe, that we follow the rules and ultimately protect the NHS.