Will our children ever trust us again?

In any other year, the next few months would be some of the most formative of Emma’s life. New classes, newer friends; at the very least, her second term in Sixth Form held the promise of A-Level mock exams. But with the Christmas holiday over and schools shut until at least mid-February, Emma — like […]

Covid-19 and ‘stolen futures’

In early October, 19-year-old Finn Kitson was found dead at his halls of residence at the University of Manchester. When a local radio news source tweeted that the student’s death was not Covid-related, his grieving father hit back. ‘This is untrue’, tweeted Michael Kitson, an academic at the University of Cambridge: ‘If you lock down […]

We have failed the Class of 2020

Let’s hear it for the ‘Class of 2020’. These are the young people who came into the year facing significant educational milestones – GCSE or A-level exams or their national equivalents, graduation from high school or University – only to find these rites of passage smashed by Covid-19 and lockdown. As other students have struggled […]

Generationalism backs ageism

Stefania Medetti interviewed me for her blog, The Age Buster. She wrote:  Picasso had a Blue Period and I had a Russian one. For a couple of years, I devoured Russian literature, scavenging for unknown titles when the most famous ones had already found a place on my bookshelf. Russian literature has all the depths that […]

Covid-19 and the ‘generational housing divide’

In a comment to The Guardian, I said: ‘The divide is actually one of class and ethnicity, not one of generation. We need to question government policies that have shut down public spaces for young people during lockdown and pushed them back into their homes during lockdown when evidence doesn’t show the necessity of that.’ ‘Covid-19 exposes […]

The potential and pitfalls of putting the ‘university experience’ online

Way before the upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis, universities were gradually moving some teaching activities online. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) such as Moodle or Blackboard are well-established for providing access to course materials, including readings and lecture slides, and the submission and marking of student coursework. More recently, a head of steam has developed around […]

Our kids have simply been cut adrift by school closures – with devastating consequences for their education

My teenage daughters are in Years 9 and 11. In normal circumstances, the younger of the two would be laying the foundations for her GCSE exams – the backbone of any pupil’s plans for the future. My eldest, meanwhile, would be about to sit them. Yet neither of my daughters has stepped past the school […]

We don’t need a lockdown to enforce good behaviour

The public has internalised the spirit of the rules. Now we must be free to find our way out of this. Widely reported research from King’s College London suggests that 48 per cent of people can be characterised as ‘accepting’ of lockdown (following the rules and coping reasonably well), while 44 per cent are ‘struggling’ […]

Has Coronavirus put an end to the generation wars?

The current coronavirus pandemic has revealed, or heightened, many underlying political issues – from the lingering effect of the culture wars to the consequences of fearmongering in political discourse. But one issue that seems to have bucked the trend is the generation debate. Going by much of the discussion of the last 10 years, young […]

The Corona Generation

The Covid-19 crisis will have huge social and economic implications for everybody. But it will have particular symbolic significance for the Corona Generation: the young people currently coming of age, who until now have travelled by the unimaginative label ‘Generation Z’. The Corona Generation is the one for whom schools and universities have closed their […]

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