Amid the recent fuel distribution crisis there had been fears that if the problem continued for too long, some educators may struggle to get into schools and settings for their working day. With both public and private modes of transport being used by those working in education, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT had called for teaching and learning to be prioritised if the situation was not resolved soon. Meanwhile, the government is seeking to reassure the public that things are returning to normal.
All this brought to mind an approach used by Dirk Gently, the fictional detective created by author Douglas Adams, who also wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Gently haphazardly, but with surprising success, solved crimes by considering the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.
Let’s apply that to the current issue – giving it a worst-case scenario plot twist!
Fuel distribution crisis >> not enough fuel for everyone >> therefore educators can’t get to schools and settings >> therefore children can’t attend >> therefore parents and carers have to remain at home with children >> therefore parents and carers can’t go to work
We could get a really complicated mind map out of it (Dirk Gently would have done), but you get the idea.
Of course, a fuel distribution crisis has an impact on the infrastructure of other vital services too – the NHS, food supply chains.
But what Dirk Gently’s philosophy of life demonstrates is that education is at the heart of so much in our society. Schools and settings are more than places where learning and development happens. The knock-on effect on the care they offer, the breakfast clubs and lunches, the support services they provide and seek – all this and more pauses when education is affected.
Those in education know this, and during the pandemic we have all experienced the ways schools and settings strive to continue everything they do in the face of huge challenges. So let’s always remember with gratitude the key part education plays in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.