I am not sure on this one as I believe that the children are truly missing out with their education, but on the other hand there is the risk of Covid 19 being spread from children to others in their home.
Teaching unions are demanding that schools be closed, but lets put to bed that it is a conservative government and the unions will always try everything to be a pain in the backside so take it with a pinch of salt, and if they were truly concerned try offering solutions and not criticisms.
What should be done is looking at the risk and the increase in cases that have been transmitted from the schools themselves, and see if it is above the accepted rate and if so why? How can it be reduced and if it can’t then the option is to close the schools but that must be the last option.
I have 3 grandchildren all of school age, and my son in law is a janitor at another primary school so there is a lot of being in schools in my family and my son is at University….and they are hoping that everything stays open but it is out of their hands sadly, as it seems those most affected will have little say in the matter.
We have done what a family should do due to the areas of everyday attendance at learning places, and have taken into account the issues that could affect the older ones i.e. my mother and Mr Points of Sue with his disease, and we made the decision to stay away until the children had attended school long enough to know that they were reasonably clear of not getting it.
However, there is the worry that my eldest grandson would be missing out as he wants to be a Palaeontologist when older and he needs the stability of school. My two youngest go to a school for children with special needs and they are a fantastic there and the school is really adapting well to all scenarios with the children, but it would be too easy to just close it down without having given the schools enough time to actually load up the curriculum onto a computer programme, and then there would have to be the appreciation that not every child has access to a computer, and also would the parents be prepared to put the work in as I saw it for myself that parents who are really hard work in everyday life, were just not putting any effort into teaching the children and they were running amok. There has to be a contract that failure to get the children to actually do the work would result in a fine….it is the only way to stop some parents who are not interested.
So, therefore it is not just as easy as shutting the school there are so many things to take into account and if they are going to do it then the unions and the government have to work together, not just slagging each other off at every opportunity.
We are lucky as Mr Points of Sue and I purchased enough computers for our grandchildren to not miss out should they close again, but the schools need to start thinking now about the impact on the poorer members of their classrooms and start getting the items they need now. It is not enough that they close it down as I know children who are missing out and it is not right and it is not fair.
We have made arrangements with mum and dad to get our eldest grandson extra lessons to catch up, and yes I know we are lucky and get do that but the teachers need to build their lessons to an online platform like Microsoft Teams and have the children actually work as if in a classroom….otherwise we will have a generation of children who will miss vital education through a virus that was not of our making and where the fight is not yet being won.
As I stated it is not just closing them down but a whole lot of planning to be done to make sure that no one misses out and the thing that worries me is can the school raise to the challenge?
They need proactive help from both the unions and the government and if it means purchasing IT equipment for the poorest then great bring it on and come on Chancellor open up the chequebook, but we cannot just shut down the schools with a poor understanding of those who can complete the work and those who can’t.