Author: Connor Lamb

The founder of Schools Matter UK, who is a second year sociology student, a passionate education reformist and a programme rep for their university degree

Who is MP Nadhim Zahawi?

Connor Lamb

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, I was given the present of a lifetime. It was a day that was better than Christmas and my birthday combined. A fellow Freshers Team Leader sent me the news that Gavin Williamson had been sacked as Education Secretary. I may or may not had screamed in the middle of […]

Dear Michelle Donelan, universities’ minister

Connor Lamb

When I started university in September 2019, I was expecting a lot of things. I was expecting to make some new friends and get to know a new and diverse range of fellow students. I was expecting a pristine environment where I could study my passions in a stimulating, supportive and relaxed community. I was […]

Covid, mass trauma and regional unity

Connor Lamb

I remember that in the process of writing my diary entries, I had to recall memories recessed in the back of my mind for over a year. We often don’t think of traumatic memories as ‘trauma’. I briefly addressed the concept of mass trauma at the very end of the diary, so now it’s time […]

Confessions of a student during Covid-19

Connor Lamb

Dear Diary, I never thought I’d be writing to you, trying to wrap up the last 19 months in a bow. I wanted to write an article on mental health and students. Given how difficult it feels, writing it like this might be a nice change of pace. So here goes nothing. February 2020 I […]

Education Committee Part 3: a widening learning gap?

Connor Lamb

The last time that we explored the education committee meeting led by Sir Kevan Collins, we explored the importance of parental involvement within education, the future of Ofsted and more about the education recovery package. This are a few of the highlights from the next twenty minutes. Further funding? Sir Kevan was asked if there […]

North East People

How North East Bylines helped me: confessions of a summer newcomer

Connor Lamb

Over the summer, I was looking for something productive and academically engaging to do in the run up to my dissertation year. With all of my assignments handed in and my marks handed back, I needed something to do over the summer that would help me get out of burnout and focus on something other […]

PART 1

Sir Kevan Collins: Education Recovery Committee

Connor Lamb

The first thing that Sir Kevan Collens discussed was the importance of working from the “bottom up as well as the top down” in order to get students and parents to engage back in education. He believed that this could take the form of engaging local authorities and community/faith groups, alongside the integration of other sectors including the health and social care sector alongside the police.

Opinion

PE in schools: does it need to be reformed?

Connor Lamb

Also often ignored are the barriers that can prevent students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities from fully enjoying PE, such as activities not being adapted to support the additional needs of students with disabilities. This means that not all students can enjoy physical activity in the way that the government through Ofsted presents. This can ring alarm bells in its own right.

Patriotism, schools and the UK

Connor Lamb

Can a government led by a Prime Minster who once compared Muslim women who wear the veil to letterboxes be trusted to respect other people’s faiths? Can a government whose Prime Minster unlawfully suspended parliament claim to respect the democratic policy? Can a government that had quietly removed anti-bullying training regarding homophobia in schools last year claim to be for identifying and combating discrimination?

Gavin Williamson: Queen’s portrait, twisted priorities

Connor Lamb

While you fixate on one of the most revered and financially secure universities in our country, do you know that SEND provisions in schools are underfunded, to the point where these services could be cut due to the lack of funding? Schools across my region could potentially lose up to £7 million, which would be used to support students from low-income backgrounds.

Supporting queer young people: legacy of Section 28

Connor Lamb

Stonewall conducted a survey regarding queerphobic bullying that found that 46% of queer students experienced queerphobic bullying in the North East, compared to 40% of students in London and 36% of students from the South East. This suggests that the North-South divide may come into play when it comes to queerphobia within schools.

The forgotten student part 4: after the rent strikes

Connor Lamb

A conversation I had with a friend ensued after they congratulated me after my first article in North East Bylines. This friend mentioned that their accommodation provider had refused to provide any financial support. An idea came after this conversation. Let’s see if any student who has studied in the North East this year actually benefitted from the rent strikes?

Opinion

The forgotten student experience: part 3

Connor Lamb

It’s pretty clear: the Higher Education sector is at a crossroads. At the end of both options is a complex intersection, with academic enrichment, student pastoral support, the financial implications of the pandemic and public perception all being controlled by a single traffic light

Autism and digital interviews: a positive of lockdown

Connor Lamb

A virtual interview is quite simple: test out your camera and microphone, decide which smart shirt to wear, and focus on preparing your answers to common interview questions. And not to mention that this makes planning for the organisation easier too.

Opinion

The forgotten, disabled student and a new defiance

Connor Lamb

People that were once told that they couldn’t work from home due to IT systems not accommodating them were able to once the pandemic hit. This is quite possibly ableism in it’s purest form. Adaptations that ‘couldn’t’ be made prior to the pandemic suddenly could be made when it protected and supported able-bodied neurotypicals. It should not have taken a virus to make these accommodations. In this way Covid-19 has become a twisted equaliser of sorts.

This is me: shining a light on inclusivity

Connor Lamb

I am going to write about what I know and what I’m passionate about. I’m primarily focusing on education, but also disability rights, queer rights and mental health. Disabled and neurodiverse people including myself are ignored by the government, and especially by our region, and so I’m excited to shine a light on those issues.

Opinion

The forgotten student experience: part 1

Connor Lamb

To do the maths, each university should have received approximately £47,169. That isn’t bad, but students had to compete to get some of that and considering how many students relied on part-time jobs before lockdown, there must have been a lot of applications. The effort made by the government to be lazy was very frustrating; why provide direct support to all students when you can let universities play judge, jury and executioner?