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School “bubbles”

(62 Posts)
Hebdenali Sun 06-Sep-20 12:50:22

I’ve been staying with my daughter and family for a few days. The grandchildren returned to school on Thursday. Thousands of pounds have been spent on segregating the children into year bubbles. Lunch, playtime and outdoor activities have been changed. Parents are kept away from drop off points.
Then on collections of my 6 and 10 year olds, everyone heads to the nearby play park. All the children of all ages mingle and play together on the equipment and parents sit around in huddles chatting. Tomorrow they will all go back into school.
Surely this scenario was envisaged. Why has all this money been wasted. Surely it could be better used to provide more teaching staff.

janeainsworth Sun 06-Sep-20 13:36:19

I think if the measures hadn't been put in place the schools & governing bodies could have been held liable if there had been an outbreak within the school. They have to take all reasonable steps to keep pupils and teachers safe.
Many parents might have kept their children away from school too.
Unfortunately, schools have no control over what parents and children choose to do out of school hours.

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 13:45:58

The schools have a duty of care for their staff and pupils. I trust the measures they have put in place. Beyond that, however, they have no control, and to be fair many children and parents have been meeting up during the summer anyway.

greengreengrass Sun 06-Sep-20 13:51:45

Not sure what you expect parents to do. Most of us take part in measured activities, but play and socialising for kids and young people are a very important part of growing up, and very important for their mental health And not everyone has a garden in which the kids can be outside.

Mental wellbeing of their parents also important especially for those who had been home schooling since March some of us hadn't seen fellow parents at all for six months. It was very isolating.

Maybe someone should be telling the government that if they cared so much about 'education' and young people they ought to close pubs and restaurants instead?

If you think there is a lack of social distancing have you tried talking to the people involved and showing you are worried?

greengreengrass Sun 06-Sep-20 13:53:13

And also amongst the parents I know there is very much the awareness that if there is any 'socialising' to be done then it will be as far as possible in the same year 'bubble's' as there are at school.

greengreengrass Sun 06-Sep-20 13:53:47

And how do you know that the 'huddles' are not individual 'bubbles' that the families have? My guess is that that is the reason they are in 'huddles'.

MissAdventure Sun 06-Sep-20 13:57:14

I think schools, like every other place, can only do so much, and policing others' behaviour is beyond their remit.

That is what the bus company told me when I queried them not enforcing the wearing of masks.

Jaxjacky Sun 06-Sep-20 14:36:09

Schools are doing what they’ve been told to do, it’s very onerous for them, my daughter works in one. They can’t govern what has or does happen outside.
I don’t see the correlation between that and pubs/restaurants being open greengreengrass? Many adults have been lonely and felt isolated during this period, their mental health, alleviated by some social interaction is important too.

MerylStreep Sun 06-Sep-20 14:54:12

all the children of all ages mingle and play together on the equipment and parents sit round in huddles chatting
That's what 1,000s? have been doing for months now. Why would it be any different because they have gone back to school?

Hebdenali Sun 06-Sep-20 15:05:32

I'm not worried in the slightest about the children playing together or about parents, minders and nannies mixing in the park. Im sad that so much money and time has been spent on something that will make little or no difference to the situation. As for the fear that schools could be sued, how on earth would anyone know where an infection had been picked up?

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 15:37:00

I don't think an excessive amount of money has been spent on re organising the workspace in schools. Not in the bigger picture anyway. Schools aren't like hospitals which required ventilators, PPE, additional staff and drugs etc. to fight the virus. Time and effort from heads and teachers was definitely required, but school staff were being paid over the past 6 months anyway. New timetabling and bubble re arranging hasn't cost a fortune and hand sanitisers and signage round the school won't break the bank.

Lucca Sun 06-Sep-20 15:41:13

* Surely it could be better used to provide more teaching staff.*
? I don’t understand how plus where do you magic more staff from ?

MerylStreep Sun 06-Sep-20 15:48:39

Hebdenali
This is what I'm hearing from my daughter and her friends ( all with school age children) it's pointless. Children are going to do what they've always done.

Lucca Sun 06-Sep-20 16:07:45

If you have more teachers to make more classes they would need more classrooms!
Anyway it looks like schools are damned if they do damned if they don’t !
Plus they have to follow government guidelines

Sarahmob Sun 06-Sep-20 17:15:00

Ellianne -school staff were being paid over the past six months anyway-

I think you’ll find that we were being paid because we were working. In my school whilst on Lockdown we covered the key workers arrangements on a rota basis, working through both the Easter and May holidays. When not in school we were preparing, delivering lessons and supporting our pupils as we were able. It wasn’t a period of paid furlough for us. We opened as soon as we were allowed to to deliver face to face for those pupils in the specified age groups and whose parents allowed them to return. As to your point about the cost of signage/sanitisers etc schools budgets are extremely tight and the money these things cost will have to be found from other budget areas.

Chardy Sun 06-Sep-20 17:19:27

Not sure why you think thousands of pounds have been spent, Hebdenali

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 17:23:28

I think you’ll find that we were being paid because we were working.
Did I say that you weren't Sarah? I was referring to the comment about the additional costs and expense which did not stretch to employing further staff.
In my school being flexible enough to prioritise and to go above and beyond when a crisis looms is what is important.

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 17:24:54

I agree Chardy and if anything, there were savings made by not having the kids in school.

Chardy Sun 06-Sep-20 17:44:13

I agree I asked a question!!

What savings were being made?

SpanielNanny Sun 06-Sep-20 17:47:56

I’m assuming that the main purpose of the ‘bubbles’ within schools, is that it removes the need for the whole student population/staff, to isolate should one child test positive.

For example, if little Fred in year 3 receives a positive test, then only the (relatively) few people from that bubble need to miss school. The previous set up would have meant it almost impossible to know exactly who had been Fred’s ‘close contacts’ and so would potentially mean the whole of the juniors had to be absent.

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 17:50:39

Que?
I'm confused, what was the actual question? With a question mark?

Chewbacca Sun 06-Sep-20 17:56:20

Anyway it looks like schools are damned if they do damned if they don’t !
Plus they have to follow government guidelines.

Absolutely this. The school can only be responsible for the children in their care during school hours. They can have no responsibility or jurisdiction as to what children do outside of school hours. That's the parent's responsibility, surely.

Lucca Sun 06-Sep-20 18:05:03

Thanks chewbacca.

growstuff Sun 06-Sep-20 18:43:29

Ellianne

I agree Chardy and if anything, there were savings made by not having the kids in school.

I don't understand what savings would have been made.

Ellianne Sun 06-Sep-20 19:03:12

I don't understand what savings would have been made.
Some of the following *growstuff.
Non teaching staff furloughed (especially TAs)
Caretakers and grounds staff
Resources- paper, photocopying, laminating
Catering and food costs
Transport
I'm not saying a huge amount in the bigger picture, but more than enough to buy the sanitisers and signage needed.