ITV News political editor Robert Peston went viral for reasons he wouldn’t have been hoping for after comments he made about teachers during lockdow. He seemed to indicated that they didn’t do much work during the pandemic.
His comments were part of a three-part thread about the economy when he wrote ‘the phenomenon of 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
This was red rag to a bull to teachers, and many other people on social media, who knew how hard it has been for people working in the education sector.
Robert, it’s not too late to delete this and apologise.— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) May 12, 2021
Oh mate https://t.co/LC5LgW8hbR— Rachel Parris (@rachelparris) May 12, 2021
On behalf of the nation's teachers, who worked tirelessly to deliver education through lockdown, go to hell.— David Andress (@ProfDaveAndress) May 12, 2021
Oh this is outrageous. Doesn't he TALK to any teachers? Absolutely crammed weeks of online teaching, huge stress, people going above and beyond with teaching AND pastoral care. Teachers at full stretch during lockdown. This is as ignorant as it is insulting. https://t.co/wkFWG2sXKL— Ian Martin (@IanMartin) May 12, 2021
Are 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, 2021
Isn't it odd how Conservatives like Peston hate educators— 🕷️ Nicole – 😷 💙 #FBPE #BLM #FBR (@AsNicoleSeesIt) May 12, 2021
I saw my wife push herself to the brink of breaking down during lockdown. Giving all of herself and more to the kids she teaches and the school she loves. ‘Not very much teaching’? Jeez. She taught her backside off in the direst of circumstances. Why do we do our teachers down? https://t.co/SqphSPe2U8— James Mitchinson (@JayMitchinson) May 12, 2021
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?? Teachers had an absolute nightmare, teaching in school AND online. Are you a journalist? Were you paying attention to what happened this year? Fuck me ragged. https://t.co/3iyd2YjhRh— Chris Addison💙 (@mrchrisaddison) May 12, 2021
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, 2021
Shocking 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
Journalist Robert Peston is criticised for saying that the govt paid teachers 'for not very much teaching' during school COVID-19 lockdowns— sue#NHSLove💙💙💙#FBNHS (@SueSuezep) May 12, 2021
Journalists get paid all the time 'for not very much journalism'
He tried to backtrtack on his comments, but the damage seemed to already have been done. See you after school Peston!
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, 2021