Adonis 'inadequate' online learning claim sparks fury

Former schools minister told to 'get some evidence' after writing to Ofsted about 'poor' remote teaching provision

Amy Gibbons

Coronavirus: Lord Adonis has come under fire from teachers for comments about remote learning provision

Teachers have responded with fury after former schools minister Lord Adonis wrote to Ofsted complaining that "many schools" are "not providing adequate online learning and support" during the coronavirus crisis.

Lord Adonis, who was parliamentary under-secretary of state for schools between 2005 and 2008 and architect of the academies movement, has been told that he is "behind the curve" and should "get some evidence" after announcing on Twitter yesterday that he had written to chief inspector Amanda Spielman to "express concern" about insufficient provision.


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Despite the initial tweet receiving a huge backlash from school staff, Lord Adonis said this morning that he doesn't "for a moment apologise" for claiming that "every state school should provide a full online learning programme" and "Ofsted should be highlighting good and poor practice".

He added that he believes "most teachers" agree with him.

Mary Bousted, joint-general secretary of the NEU teaching union, told Lord Adonis to do some research before condemning teachers and leaders who are doing "extraordinary" work.

Coronavirus: Teacher anger over online learning claims

She tweeted: "Go to the @NEUnion parents’ website. Have a look at the resources for parents. Read our advice for supporting learning at home.

"Get some evidence before you condemn teachers and leaders who are doing really extraordinary work in very difficult circumstances."

Matt Koster-Marcon, chair of edtech at the British Educational Suppliers' Association (BESA), asked: "Do you have specific examples?", adding that reasons for limited provision may include a "chronic lack of funds" and "wasted time chasing [free school meals] vouchers".

Prominent headteacher Chris Dyson, of Parklands Primary School in Leeds, said: "Do you mean you are criticising schools in this time of need? Or are you saying #Ofsted were wrong (which they were obviously). Schools couldn't with two days notice create a platform to teach FT as opposed to uploading homework activities as normal."

History teacher Tom Rogers added: "Andrew, you are so behind the curve on this! It’s shocking!! Go and speak to some teachers!!"

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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