Our elected leaders might never have expected to deal with such an issue when they stood on the doorsteps of their constituents’ homes, promising to improve bin collections, get better play equipment for the local park and do something about the number of boarded up shops in their High Streets.
It is also undeniable that a number of poor decisions have been made along the way. There have been too many occasions during the past 18 months where our leaders have appeared to make illogical decisions, ignored the data or appeared to have gone against the advice of the experts.
A new report has explored the decision making of Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
The conclusions – which are angrily disputed by government – go over well-trodden ground that consider the nightmare experience of schools. The exam fiasco over which Mr Williamson presided has been called ‘unforgivable’. The report reflects the chaos of the whole situation with U-turn after U-turn, a symptom, the report says, of the Prime Minister’s unwillingness to act quickly enough.
Today we should also take into account, however, the whole issue of Covid and the confusion it caused globally. These were not normal times in government.
There are lessons to be learned and this report raises serious issues on the process of decision-making. But the key priority must remain the students who have suffered as their academic lives fell apart.