Gransnet forums


Should the schools reopen?

(118 Posts)
Lizbethann55 Sun 24-May-20 15:27:26

I have been asked by my union to sign a petition calling for schools where I live to stay closed. I haven't signed it because I honestly don't know and I wondered what you all thought. I am so glad that it's not a decision I have to make. My eldest GC is due to start reception in Sepember. If she had been just a few weeks older she would have been there already and she will be one of the oldest in her year. As it is, her parents both work for the NHS and so she has been in nursery all the time anyway. The nursery she goes to is actually part of the hospital and all the children there have at least one parent working in the hospital so things are not very different for her and her younger brother. I think some of those who are vehemently against the reopening forget that very many schools have never closed, that thousands of children of key workers attend them and that hundreds of teachers have never stopped working. Does anyone know if there have been any reports of children or teachers who have continued to be in schools falling ill? I do worry about all the children who are stuck in multi storey blocks of flats in inner cities and those whose parents lack the ability or inclination to even try to home school them or make this lockdown worthwhile in any way. On the other hand, it would be dreadful if any families did become ill as a result of opening the schools. Obviously, sending any child to school for the time being could not be made compulsory so any child who had underlying health issues, or who had vulnerable parents or siblings need not go. And that would have to be made very plain and clear. What is the consensus of opinion? Please try not to make your thoughts based on politics. This should be an apolitical discussion.

GagaJo Sun 24-May-20 15:30:47

I think they should stay closed. I'm a teacher and many of my friends are still at work, in school.

However, from what those friends have said, it is manageable coping with 25/30 children and trying to keep them distanced, sort of. Impossible with 800. If one of them has the virus, it'll run rampant through the school before anyone even knows that one child is infectious.

Lizbethann55 Sun 24-May-20 15:38:41

But aren't they talking about only one year going in at high school level and only the oldest and youngest at primary? So there would be plenty of empty rooms to spread out in.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 24-May-20 15:42:34

One of our GC is in reception they are going in one day a week in a group of nine, with social distancing.

One of our GC is going back to nursery, the nursery have said that they will not be social distancing, but will be extra scrupulously hand washing and cleaning.

Elegran Sun 24-May-20 15:54:09

They need extra teachers as well as extra rooms, and spreading even half the class in separate rooms isn't always possible, depending on the room and the furniture, and the activities they are doing - it could be 3 or even 4 rooms and teachers per class. You can't have just one teacher running from one room to another - the one without supervision would be bound to have one child doing something daft. . Reception class are not good at sitting in one place at the best of times, and they have just met up again with their friends . . . There are other practical things like that too.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 24-May-20 15:56:55

That is why they are only going in one day a week - nine pupils per group one teacher and one teaching assistant.

growstuff Thu 28-May-20 20:27:29

This is worth watching …

Independent Sage discussing why they're concerned about re-opening. They know what they're talking about.

It's nearly an hour, so make a cuppa before settling down to watch it.

Elrel Sun 31-May-20 10:58:34

Very uneasy as a retired teacher and grandparent. Maybe it could work but I just think of how excited small children will be to see friends again and wonder how they will cope with personal distancing.
A week ago I chatted to a couple, neighbours I didn’t previously know, as we put the bins out. Afterwards I realised that part of the time I’d forgotten personal distancing and we only had a wheelie bin separating us. And I’ve been strictly observing guidelines since mid-March.
I just want the children, and staff of course, to be safe.

timetogo2016 Sun 31-May-20 11:06:44

I think they should stay shut for safety reasons as we all know you can be a carrier of covid and not even know.

EllanVannin Sun 31-May-20 11:13:17

Leave them closed until after the summer. It's ridiculous to think that all children will keep a safe distance.
Not only that, it'll make things worse if there's another wave right on autumn.
Why not wait until no more cases are confirmed ?

BlueBelle Sun 31-May-20 11:20:21

I think they need opening the kids are going to be mentally conditioned to a fear of illness and socialising at least if they can see their friends even if they are taught to socially distance FOR NOW It has been proved children are only rarely affected and there is also now talk about them not even being carriers and the desk can be kept apart
Sweden and other countries have kept them open successfully definitely the older children should be back I don’t see the rush for very young children
I don’t think there’s nearly enough understanding of mental health in all this
We have lived through pandemics before and through horrible flu epidemics and managed without destroying our children’s education and mental health

BlueBelle Sun 31-May-20 11:21:24

Why can’t they have an afternoon session and a morning session that could double the intake without crowding

Calendargirl Sun 31-May-20 12:26:04

A special needs school near us has been open all the time. Not sure what the youngest age is there.
A friend whose work colleague has a child in attendance there said no way was social distancing taking place. Assume it would not be possible with the different abilities and understanding the children have.

BlueBelle Sun 31-May-20 12:43:47

ellenvanin why not wait until no more cases are confirmed
Because we have to learn how to live with the virus it isn’t going to go away just like AIDS for years it was a much feared killer but with so much education on safe sex and then later medication it is now a part of life we rarely hear much about
If you are waiting for no cases you will have a very long wait Im afraid probably not in our lifetime We aren’t going to eradicate Covid 19 but we can learn how to control its effect on us many of the past big viruses are still around and will spring up from time to time like Ebola does, others have mutated and some have got weaker

EllanVannin Sun 31-May-20 14:05:16

BlueBelle, and meanwhile schools will be run like military academies while rules and regulations are meted out ?
This way of life is also harmful to children while trying to learn at the same time. Children are social beings and anything beyond this is alien to them.

School police in the playground ?

Grandma70s Sun 31-May-20 14:29:25

My grandson, Year 6, is going back on Tuesday. We are all happy about it, especially him. There will be plenty of space. They will be using the building normally occupied by Years 7 and 8 of the senior school. (He is at a school with juniors and seniors on the same site.)

It would have been very sad to leave the Junior School without saying goodbye to his teachers and friends. As it is, so much of the fun of that last year as a junior will be missed, including all the school trips, performances and ceremonies.

I suppose there is some risk, but I’m sure they will be very strictly supervised, and at the age of 11 they are old enough to understand why they must keep the rules. I would be much more worried about the younger ones who are supposed to be returning.

Lizbethann55 Sun 31-May-20 15:07:45

What really worries me about the schools not opening is the children who have been locked down in multi storey blocks of flats with no parks, no open spaces and definitely no gardens. With parents who are totally inadequate and have absolutely no desire or ability to manage their children every hour of every day. The children whose parents are alcoholics or drug users. The children whose only refuge, safety, break from abuse was going to school. I worry about what damage has already been done to them and what further harm will befall them if they have no escape or break or even the most rudimentary education until September.

MamaCaz Sun 31-May-20 18:17:58

Does anyone know if there have been any reports of children or teachers who have continued to be in schools falling ill?

I can't speak specifically for schools, but I do know that the nursery that my dgd usually attends has had to close two rooms because of coronavirus.
Like many schools and nurseries, the nursery had been kept open for the children of key workers.

DiL classes as a key worker but has been working from home because she is shielded, so obviously obviously dgd has not been sent to nursery during this time, as to do so would have been crazy because of the risk of her bringing the infection into the home - and one of the infected classes is the one she would usually have been in!

I don't really see much difference in this respect between the the risks in nurseries and those amongst the younger school years.

Elegran Sun 31-May-20 19:05:10

BlueBelle I think morning and afternon seesions are a,ong theways that schools are planning to cope, but there is talk of other practical considerations too - the layout inside each classroom, cleaning the toilets (and the staffrooms) far more frequently, playground distancing, cloakrooms for outdoor clothes, sharing equipment, parents going into school to fetch their child, and so on.

Elegran Sun 31-May-20 19:06:16

I believe schools have closed in Derby and Bristol because of cases.

maddyone Sun 31-May-20 19:22:37

My six year old twin grandchildren have never stopped going to school, even through the Easter holidays, as both their parents are doctors who work for the NHS. Their two year old brother had to start nursery rather quickly as they lost their usual childcare, which was us or the other grandparents. Our other grandchild has been home schooling as his parents were both at home, one home working, the other made redundant immediately with the lockdown. They have said their seven year old will return to school as soon as Year Two are able to return. I actually don’t really know what I think about schools returning full time. I think I’ll watch and wait and reserve judgment.

MissAdventure Sun 31-May-20 19:30:04

I feel uneasy about the whole 'getting back to normal' steps, because we have no idea who has had the virus, as yet.

BlueBelle Sun 31-May-20 19:30:32

ellenvallin your picture sounds ideal BUT what about the families who are stuck in ‘Grenville towers’ places what about children whose parents are working from home while they try to learn, what about the families that don’t have computers or one between three kids, what about the kids.watching domestic violence or worse being abused themselves what about the kids caring for parents and school is their only social space what about kids of drug addicts or drinkers I could go on and on
School doesn’t have to be policed and won’t be, they will get used to limited contact and hopefully by September or January it will Just be a bad dream and soon they ll forget all about the tim3 they couldn’t touch their friends and going back is the first step

Susan56 Sun 31-May-20 19:37:34

My son in law is a teacher in a school for vulnerable children and the school has been open all along.Not all the children have attended but Calendargirl is right,it is impossible to get the children to socially distance.One of the reasons the children do so well at the school is because there is less formality than at a regular school.We were talking to him today and he said it has worked well up to now but the staff are not sure what will happen when all the children return.

Our granddaughter lives in Wales and her school will not reopen until September.My daughter is glad the decision has been made for her.She said the parents of the school are very divided as to whether the school should reopen or not.

Oopsminty Sun 31-May-20 19:44:17

My daughter teaches Year 1.

She's happy to be going back

Had I a child in Reception or Year 1, I'm not sure I'd have sent them in.

It hardly seems worth it for a few weeks.

My eldest daughter has two boys. One in Year 4 and the other in Year 6.

The latter isn't impressed about having to go back when his brother remains at home!

On balance I think it's good to get them back in