This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
September schooling(6 Posts)
We all understand education is likely to be a bit patchy until the summer holidays. I am a secondary teacher and a secondary parent so I am aware of what is likely to happen until then. But what I am wondering about is September. If no vaccine has been found by then (and by all accounts it won't have been) then we will still have to operate with social distancing. Given that the majority of schools are more or less at capacity, how is that going to work? Different year groups in on different days? The reality must surely be long-term disruption for all year groups. I know this is stating the bleeding obvious, but it seems all the focus has been on getting some kids back in June and nobody is talking about what happens beyond the summer holidays, which are only 6 weeks. As for bringing back Year 10 and Year 12, unless they can go back to their proper classes with their designated teachers, it will mostly be some kind of cover work anyway, and I honestly feel they might make better progress at home with remote learning supervised by their teacher. My Year 10 are mostly doing pretty well and submitting some really good work, and I am so proud of them. Obviously I would prefer to see them live in person but if we can't all be in one room and I have to set cover to be taught by a non- specialist, either in June/July or from September, then I honestly think their education if not their morale might be better at home.
That would be fine for many children, probably the ones who are on track academically and enjoy school work. It would be pretty disastrous for those who don't engage with online learning and whose parents don't make them, or where the schools are providing something which is decidedly suboptimal.
It would potentially make inequality much much worse for a long time.
Hopefully by September there will be clarity on the actual rate of infection for children and the extent to which they spread the disease and time to agree workable changes to timetables and school buildings with the government and unions.
Realistically, even if a vaccine is approved for use by September, it is unlikely to be given to everyone for another couple of years. Very few children could cope with remote schooling only for that length of time so it would have to be absolutely necessary.
I've started to think that education will need massive changes come Sept. Obviously with no vaccine social distancing will still apply and that is a huge logistical and staffing issue. Curriculum wise we can't just carry on where we left off, kids will need huge emotional support, may be anxious, forgotten a lot of what they did learn the previous year. I have 2 dc one y9 and one lower ks2. The y9 I could see doing some remote, part time learning with regular face to face check ins. Primary child (with mild hearing SEN) needs social contact, and face to face teaching (and I am trying very hard with him at home). Basically I think the curriculum will need to be slimmed, focus on emotional well being and repeat most of this year. If we head straight back to a system that rushes to get to get to SATS in Y6 I think we are doomed.
Well they seem to want all primary back by 22nd June so I am sure Bojo et al will want the whole of secondary by September.
Realistically, I think school fo non exam years (R-9) will have to be part time for a while, and focused on the 'basics' while the humanities, art, music, pe etc is done at home.
Years 10+, it's more difficult. To get smaller classes while still covering the wide range of exam subjects, you will need more classrooms and teachers. Top students maybe ok with just one maths lesson a week and the rest online for example, but medium- lower sets would need more support.
I’m a parent of Y12 and Y8 boys, and I share your concerns. I cannot see that schools will be able to open as normal in September and the impacts are going to be far reaching. My Y12 is coping well from an academic viewpoint - He is bright and self motivated. However, school is about so much more than just the academics - he was beginning to show real leadership qualities and as he moved through sixth form, the teachers were giving him opportunities to show and develop those skills. In his case I think it is the loss of that opportunity that bothers me more than the academic side as he is thriving at home with his studies.
By contrast my Y8 DS is finding things harder and says that he misses school. I think we will muddle through until summer, but it worries me that he might not be back in September either. He needs the structure of school and thrives on the social side and so the impact of school closure is impacting on him in many ways - academically, socially, mentally and physically.
If schools have to put social distancing in place (and inevitably they will) then I cannot see how kids can do more than one or two days per week in school, if there are going to be sufficient teachers to teach those who are physically present and also manage workload for those who are working at home. It has got to be easier at the moment where nearly ever is in the same position. A halfway house of some in and some at home seems enormously difficult to me. If you have 40% of kids in school, they might need 80% of teachers (each teacher with half the usual number of students) leaving 20% of teachers to teach the remaining 60% of kids who are at home. Not sure how that could work?
Join the discussion
Please login first.