May 12, 2021
ITV News’ political editor Robert Peston has been told to go back to school after saying teachers did “not very much teaching” during lockdown.
Robert Peston Gets Schooled After Saying Teachers Did ‘Not Very Much Teaching’ In Lockdown
The senior broadcast journalist made the eyebrow-raising claim in a series of tweets poring over official data on the economy, released on Wednesday. 
He suggested that rising inflation was being driven, in part, by massive government spending to ensure the UK economy did not tank.
Peston went on to ponder whether the trend was underpinned by “the government paying teachers for not very much teaching, when lockdown closed schools”. The other important way of looking at this is that output was surprisingly robust in the first three months of the year - since much of the so-called inflation was (eg) the phenomenon of the government paying teachers for not very much teaching, when lockdown closed schools— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 12, 2021 
The journalist has 1.1m followers on Twitter, and what you might generously describe as taking his brain for a walk did not go down well on the Social Media platform. 
 Robert, I can guarantee that every single teacher in this country worked harder than you - a man, who as far as I can tell, is paid £750,000 a year to paraphrase WhatsApp messages he receives from Dominic Cummings.— Histor's Guy (@Alec_Eiffel85) May 12, 2021Bob, I'm literally a fantasy author & I still do more research into what I write about than you seem to have done with this howler.— A General Sense Of Foreboding (@Scriblit) May 12, 2021WHOA. I know many teachers, and they worked twice as hard when schools were closed. They had to learn how to do online learning OVERNIGHT, keep track of vulnerable pupils, make online lessons interesting and engaging, etc etc etc. They went from 60-hour weeks to 100-hour ones.— Margaret P Houston (@HoustonMargaret) May 12, 2021On behalf of the nation's teachers, who worked tirelessly to deliver education through lockdown, go to hell.— David Andress (@ProfDaveAndress) May 12, 2021Are you FUCKING joking?? Seriously, not much teaching! My wife is teaching full days of live lessons and planning for those in school and those online, I don't know any teachers who weren't working their absolute arses off during the last year. Please rethink this statement— Giles Paley-Phillips (@eliistender10) May 12, 2021Teachers have never worked harder than through the pandemic, juggling teaching across hubs for key workers and online. Supporting students from a distance is extremely difficult. It's ignorant to suggest they were doing "nor very much teaching".— Dr Andrew Wooff (@ajwooff) May 12, 2021Have you spoken to any teachers? Oh no, I forgot, that would be actual journalism. Fuck's sake, man, you're a drip tray for the Government.— Louis Barfe (@AlanKelloggs) May 12, 2021How dare you @Peston ? You really need to rethink this slur on teachers who worked in ways you can't even begin to imagine to support and teach young people. Shocking ignorance from you. https://t.co/zjZDKJTHCy— Jemima Laing (@jemimalaing) May 12, 2021This is an outrageous misrepresentation of the work that teachers actually did during lockdown. They were teaching the children of key workers face to face, AND doing online teaching for children at home. And to a very high standard. I think an apology is in order @Peston— Catherine Parrish (@Catheri63659074) May 12, 2021Shocking thing to say - schools remained open. Staff managed direct & on line teaching, sorted out mess with vouchers & organised food deliveries, sourced IT. They are exhausted.— Hannah Roberts (@hulmeroberts) May 12, 2021 
Even one of the ultimate Westminster insiders – Larry the Cat, or at least a Twitter account with 400,000-plus followers claiming to be the former Downing Street feline – could not come to his defence.
 Robert, it’s not too late to delete this and apologise.— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) May 12, 2021 
The broadcaster moved to clarify his comments as the backlash continued and the number of comments massively outstripped the retweets and likes – the dreaded ratio-ing.
 Sorry. I know all teachers work incredibly hard whether locked down or not! I was not making a point about the amazing contribution they make whether locked down or not. But through no fault of their own, we know their productivity is impaired by lock down. If that was...— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 12, 2021not so, there would have been no need to cancel exams or commission expensive catch up programmes. In other words the price of standardised educational outputs has risen significantly, we hope only temporarily— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 12, 2021 
But there was a “don’t shoot the messenger” energy to his sort of mea culpa as he insisted teachers’ “productivity is impaired by lock down”.
The BBC’s former business editor was leaning into the strict economic definition of “productivity”, rather than displaying a more empathetic understanding of teachers being “productive” as they grappling with mass virtual learning and pastoral care that doubtless went above and beyond the call of duty. 
The Guardian reported last year about “Britain’s teacher heroes” during lockdown, detailing how one teacher created his own YouTube character and another took students on virtual walks.
 The words you were looking for were ‘sorry, I didn’t think that through, and I apologise profusely’.— Paul Bernal (@PaulbernalUK) May 12, 2021Might I advise that you simply stop digging?— James McEnaney (@MrMcEnaney) May 12, 2021pic.twitter.com/trvNCaCY1Z— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) May 12, 2021Related...Laura Kuenssberg Captures UK's Mood With Hot Mic Dig About Boris JohnsonRobert Peston’s ‘Oh Shit’ In The Coronavirus Press Conference Captures The National MoodChris Whitty Has Had Enough Of Your Shit
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