"Everyone can have the very best teacher and it’s completely personalised; they will listen to their students’ voices, read their faces and study them in the way gifted teachers do," Sir Anthony said.
Assuming he is not being mischievous, Sir Anthony severely under-estimates the role of a teacher and significantly over-estimates the potential of IT in the classroom.
In my 45 years in the business, the slavish adoption of computers in schools has been the biggest heist perpetrated in our schools.
The IT industry has convinced school communities that computers are the sine qua non of educating children for the future.
Although there is no demonstrable evidence that this is the case, schools have swallowed the hype and invested millions of dollars into what is a never ending black hole.
The nature of the technology is that it must be constantly renewed and supported.
School Administrators and their parent clientele have been dazzled by the latest IT gadgetry.
The fact that for many subjects there is no worthwhile educational software; that an ageing teaching profession is often uncomfortable and cynical about IT in the classroom; that IT is largely unsuitable for developing higher order thinking skills and that for most students, the technology is largely associated with games and social media, are conveniently overlooked.
So-called leading IT schools are in effect inadvertent lackeys of Apple and Microsoft.
Having spent a fortune buying the technology, schools then retrospectively justify the expense by forcing teachers to use IT in their classrooms, even when it is superfluous.
Students spend more time decorating and futzing than actually learning anything. Research often equates to googling and then cutting and pasting.
This is compounded by the current orthodoxy that argues it is not important for students to actually know anything, as long as they know how to learn.
Obviously, students become proficient at using IT which somehow is supposed to justify the ubiquity of the technology.
Computer literacy has become the catch-cry at the expense of the capacity to read with understanding and write clearly and coherently.
Bizarre moves to teach all students programming to prepare them for the future, ignore the fact that only very few students will ever be employed as programmers and that a basic knowledge of IT will more than suffice for life in the 21st century.
Before dismissing me as a typical baby-booming troglodyte, my higher degree was in the use of IT in schools and in my thesis back in the 1990s I warned that there was a danger that schools would blindly embrace computers before there was any evidence that the technology significantly improves learning outcomes.
Furthermore, the technology should be our servant rather than our master.
In the ensuing years, nothing has convinced me that my fears were unfounded.
Whilst IT may assist with rote learning, even the most intelligent computer will struggle to teach higher order skills.
More significantly, it is absurd to regard traditional teachers as obsolete ‘computers’ who can be easily superseded by what will undoubtedly be expensive teaching robots.
Anyone who has observed the dynamics in any classroom will be amazed at the complexity of the teaching process.
Students are not disembodied brains.
An effective teacher is able to understand the complexities of teaching human beings, each student with unique personal backgrounds, emotional needs and learning styles.
A good teacher knows what it is like to teach the last few lessons on a Friday afternoon and how to adapt a lesson on those very windy days when the students are distracted and reluctant to focus.
The smart teacher knows how pre-occupied students will be before and after the School Formal.
Good teachers know when it is time to crack a joke or just give the class a break.
Teaching is an intensely human experience and it is insulting to teachers to dismiss what they do by replacing them with artificially intelligent machines.
Once when supply teaching, I was told by a student to 'get f*#%ed!' I wonder how our superior AI gifted teaching robot would respond?
Maybe administer a thousand-volt electric shock to the defiant student?