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Return to school

(212 Posts)
Sunlover Wed 13-May-20 08:32:32

Just wondering how many parents will decide to keeps their children at home when the schools reopen. As a retired teacher I’m so glad I don’t have to go in. Really can’t imagine how it’s all going to work. Don’t envy the head teachers trying to sort everything out. Personally I would keep all children off until September.

Calendargirl Wed 13-May-20 08:47:27

But will September be much different? It seems social distancing will still be in place, no vaccine by then, so the issues will still be there surely?

I’m sure many parents will keep their children off, but GP’s will by then be back childminding I imagine.

Sunlover Wed 13-May-20 08:51:43

No I agree social distancing will still be in place but hopefully infection rate will be down a bit.
Just don’t know how social distancing will work in small cramped classrooms ,especially with reception and Year 1 children.

growstuff Wed 13-May-20 08:52:49

Reading through a number of local Facebook groups, I think quite a number of parents will keep their children at home.

Ofsted has stated that it's worried about "widening the gap". Some children won't have done very much at all, unless their parents have enforced learning. Other parents will have organised a full programme of learning activities.

The pupils who were already behind are likely to have fallen even further behind.

I have a horrible feeling that the parents who will send their children to school are those who just want to get the kids out of their hair.

There are some pictures circulating on social media of primary age pupils in France being made to sit in marked boxes on the playground. There are no opportunities for developing the social learning which is such a large part of early years.

Grannynannywanny Wed 13-May-20 08:55:50

Sunlover I agree with you. As a teacher can you figure out why reception year are amongst the first to have been selected to return?

I just can’t understand how they think a teacher is expected to socially distance a group of 4-5 yr olds all day.

It’s not as if they will have had any experience of it during family isolation all these weeks as it wasn’t necessary at home.

Then when/if they are allowed into the playground for fresh air and exercise? Are they going to be expected to stand in 2 meter grids and play in isolation?

EllanVannin Wed 13-May-20 08:56:23

My D isn't going to send the grand- children to school, she doesn't want any germs brought into the home either to her son who's a key worker or herself in case she gets ill while she's looking after them.

Calendargirl Wed 13-May-20 08:56:41

Yes, let’s hope infection rates are down by then, but isn’t that another reason why the return is earmarked for the summer? If a spike occurs then, it should be more manageable than one occurring in late autumn/early winter which might happen if they return in September.

Calendargirl Wed 13-May-20 08:59:08

I’m sure that the reason reception children are the first is because they need more supervision at home than secondary age, enabling parents to return to work to get the economy moving again.

growstuff Wed 13-May-20 09:04:59

Effective testing and tracking is going to be crucial. The moment a child (or anybody in the family) shows any symptoms, they must inform local public health officials, who must then be empowered to close the school immediately and inform everybody else who would have had contact with that child.

I know that doesn't provide the kind of certainty parents/carers want, but it's the only way rampant spread is going to be avoided. Employers are going to have to be flexible.

I have been informed that (at least in this area) the recruitment process for local contact trackers hasn't even started.

Sunlover Wed 13-May-20 09:08:41

I’d be interested to know why it’s the youngest going back first. Is it because they are the hardest to look after at home? Is it because they appear to be less susceptible to the virus? No idea, but I think they will be the most difficult to manage in terms of social distancing. Apparently children will need to wash hands regularly and this will need to be supervised so that will take up a good part of the day. Reception and Yr 1 use equipment and apparatus for most activities. How is this going to be cleaned after each child? At least older children can sit at a desk, bring their own stuff with them and understand they can’t wander around the classroom mixing with their friends.

Jaffacake2 Wed 13-May-20 09:12:21

I am still very unsure whether children transmit the virus. The study in Switzerland says they don't but WHO disagree. If children have very few symptoms when they have the virus but they can transmit it to adults then surely another wave of the disease would occur once schools open.
Anybody know if they are transmitters?

growstuff Wed 13-May-20 09:13:18

I'm sure there will be a spike, but the trick is going to be to manage it. Covid-19 is still going to be as infectious as ever - it's not going to go away or become weaker.

If children are kept in small groups (preferably no more than 10) and not allowed to mix with any other groups, it would be possible to contain any infection to that group. I think expecting five year olds to self-distance is unrealistic, so there will inevitably be cross-over infection.

What needs to happen is for there to be immediate communication with local officials (as explained above), but the systems aren't in place yet (although Hancock and some others have waffled about them). The infection could then be contained to small "bubbles".

Grannynannywanny Wed 13-May-20 09:13:49

I feel greatly concerned thinking of the anxiety that’s likely to be instilled in these little ones.

Since start of lockdown many have had the novelty of parents at home, home schooling, enjoying family activities, long walks etc. It’s in many ways been fun up till now for them as they’ve been oblivious to the doom and gloom. Unlike older siblings or cousins who are old enough to understand what we are in the midst of.

It’s breaking my heart to contemplate the future that lies ahead for my 4 grandkids

EllanVannin Wed 13-May-20 09:15:48

I can't imagine parents being too happy about this. I know I wouldn't be at all. Children are renowned germ-spreaders.

EllanVannin Wed 13-May-20 09:18:08

I wonder if schools have been sprayed/cleansed with anti-viral solutions ? Or the buses and trains ?
The streets should be cleansed as well. Some hope !!

EllanVannin Wed 13-May-20 09:20:08

Grannynannywanny, It doesn't bear thinking sad
A far cry from the idyllic childhood of the 40's and 50's !

Grannynannywanny Wed 13-May-20 09:24:33

I’ve heard doctors on tv describe young children as super spreaders. They can be symptom free while they spread the virus to surfaces, toys, door handles and more importantly to family and friends.

Then of course, children can still contract the virus. There have been many reported cases and not all in those with underlying health problems.

Sunlover Wed 13-May-20 09:27:52

If the schools then shut if a child or a member of their family shows symptoms I can’t see the schools staying open long. The school I taught in has going on for 900 pupils and dozens of staff.
With only 3 year groups it will be possible to have small groups but I thought they were hoping to get all primary children in before the end of the summer term. No idea how that will work. Probably have to do half days.

trisher Wed 13-May-20 09:35:03

I wonder if it is really worth doing for approximately 7 weeks particularly with the younger children. They will have a completely different experience to the school day they had before so it will take time for them to settle in. By the time they adjust it will be the holidays anyway. How much help will it be for parents as well? If they have another child who isn't in school they will still have childcare issues now, and in the summer holidays, as I doubt if many playschemes will open this year.

GrannyLaine Wed 13-May-20 09:38:55

I think we have to accept that the virus isn't going to go away. The best that can be done is to minimise harm while we learn how best to deal with it. Testing, increasing immunity across the population and perhaps eventually, vaccination will all play a part. Infection rates are likely to drop in the warmer months anyway. I can't claim enough knowledge to know what is the best way forward with children of any age but my instinct tells me that trying to get 4 and 5 year olds to socially distance at all times will be rather like pushing water uphill.

growstuff Wed 13-May-20 09:48:32

Sunlover I agree with you, which is why only a very small number of pupils should be in school at any one time. I can't see schools being back to anything like "normal" before September and saying anything else is giving rise to unrealistic expectations. It needs to be extremely carefully managed, which is something this government doesn't seem to have mastered.

PS. I have no doubt that teachers and those with no "common sense" will be "blamed" if/when it all goes pear shaped :-(

Coco51 Wed 13-May-20 09:49:46

I totally agree with you Sunlover

Weefinn Wed 13-May-20 09:50:53

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-May-20 09:51:33

Here primary schools, kindergartens and crèches have been open for over a month. Children had to keep 2 metres apart and wash hands frequently. Now the requirement is 1 metre between people, so senior schools are going back too.

There hasn't been any increase in cases of CV19 since the schools re-opened.

I don't believe that it can be possible to keep children either 1 or 2 metres apart all the time. Certainly the children I have seen coming home from school were not that distance apart.

Kindergartens must be a real nightmare - over and above handwashing at regular intervals and keeping children distanced from others they have to wash all toys ever second hour!

paperbackbutterfly Wed 13-May-20 09:54:11

My friend has to go back to work so childcare is a big problem. She will be very grateful if the schools reopen.