Leeds education councillor joins national taskforce tackling effect of lost learning due to lockdown

The city council's education leader has been chosen to sit on a national taskforce to tackle lost learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Emma Ryan
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 11:45 am

Coun Jonathan Pryor has been asked to join Labour’s Bright Future Taskforce, which was launched this week by Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green MP.

Also sitting on the group is Baroness Estelle Morris, a former teacher and Secretary of State for Education, as well as teachers, headteachers and academics who have years of experience between them.

The taskforce will develop a national strategy to ensure all children have the chance to reach their full potential by enabling them to catch up on the learning and social development that the pandemic has cost them. The strategy will be shaped by children and young people themselves with their voices forming a key part of its development. A number of discussion events will be held across the country with input sought from all partners including parents, teachers and college leaders.

Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council's education spokesperson.

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He said: "This past year has been incredibly tough for the entire country but for children and young people they have seen not only their current lives disrupted but potentially their futures too. We need to ensure that their lost education is recovered but also that their wellbeing is looked after too.

“We won’t know for some time yet what the impact on people’s mental health will be but we have already seen increases in anxiety, isolation and feelings of depression. There is a sense of a lack of control that can be very difficult to deal with and I’m determined that as children return to school, the emphasis on both sides of their recovery is the same, we cannot afford to leave them to be a lost Covid generation.

“The Government has so far done very little to tackle what is a major challenge for us as a country and so I was delighted to be asked to join Labour’s Bright Future Taskforce. What we want to do is actually engage with children and young people themselves, after all they are the ones this is all about and they are the only ones who can tell us what the impact has been and how we can work to address it.”

Children went back to school this week after a nine week lockdown. Pictured are Morley Newlands pupils.

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