Most wealth inequalities in the UK result from inequalities starting at primary school age with huge inequalities to access to education leading to the other inequalities in later life. Covid-19 has magnified/ highlighted these inequalities of access to quality education. Covid-19 has also led to potential solutions, enabled by new technologies, that could break this cycle.
The inequalities have long been known but not a policy priority. The UK would benefit greatly from enabling immigrants to integrate more fully, learning from other cultures that value education more than we do, whose children clearly perform better academically than many white British children. Yet instead the UK prioritises immigration control over the integration of immigrants into the wider communities, leading to numerous negative consequences.
Internet research indicates 84 of England’s 100 best state schools (excluding private schools) are located in London and the South East serving one third of the English population. The rest of England has access to a meagre 16% of the 100 best state schools and far fewer private schools.
Covid-19 changed things, inflating these inequalities much further. Children from many state primary schools were lucky to hear once from their teacher during the first lock down. Children attending schools in more affluent areas had immediate access to daily online resources.
International friends regard British schooling as child-minding services, with a little education thrown in, rather than education focused . My friends see British parents just accepting this status quo. The lock down has shown the importance of parental involvement in their children’s early education, encouraging a strong work ethic from early years. They regard British parents as lazy and failing their children. This forms a vicious circle as children who fail to get places at good schools rarely catch up with peers who do minimising their lifec hances.