We are in extraordinary times. Schools need more teaching capacity and at the same time pupils – particularly those in year 11 – need additional support, especially around mental wellbeing.  

Analysis published today by NFER and published in Schools Week shows that over half of maths lessons (62%) in secondary schools are taught by non-specialist subject teachers. The numbers for physics and MFL are 55% and 26% respectively. 

In parallel, students are for the first time in years facing a ‘proper’ set of GCSE examinations this Spring at a time when anxiety in our young people has never been so high with over a third of year 11s giving cause for concern. 

Our community is telling us that schools need more subject-specialist support and access to wellbeing professionals urgently. Research from our partners at YPO show also that 64% of parents are worried about the welfare of their children, more so as exam periods loom. 

Given the above, we have taken the view that our money is better spent on supporting our young people and their teachers than by spending on exhibitions and advertising to promote our business. We feel that investing in our young people by making askOLA free is the right thing to do as the need is immediate and cannot wait for the current status quo to change. We have to do something different as more of the same I am afraid will simply not cut the mustard. Our support is free with no catch, 12 hours a day, 7-days per week for all year 11 students.

When I first entered the education sector nearly a decade ago, I asked the esteemed Professor Sonia Blandford for her advice on how best to operate in this sector. She said quite simply that I should “do the right thing by the child, and the rest will follow”.  

I guess we are about to find out if she was right. 


Get your free access by registering your school at www.askola.io/freeforyear11

before the 16th of December  

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