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Teachers what ideas do you have for getting dc back to school

(92 Posts)
whenthejoyreturns Wed 03-Jun-20 20:28:27

Some dc are engaging with home learning including mine. They’re secondary school age so by no means difficult to have at home so don’t accuse me of trying to palm them off because I can’t cope with my own dc.
They’re desperate to get back into school though, and I think it’s incredibly important for their continued development that they can, even though I appreciate they are more fortunate than many.
My very good friend is at the end of her tether. One Very bright secondary dc who’s not engaging in home learning, she can’t sleep with worrying.
My dds 13 year old friend has just been prescribed anxiety medication. I’m positive this would not have happened if she’d been at school with friends. I fear this is going to be the start of many dc going down this route. It all started off as a novelty for them, now the isolation from peers is becoming their normal.
I’m clearly clueless about schools so what do you think we should do?

OP’s posts: |
penguinsbegin Thu 04-Jun-20 23:25:23


Honestly this is why these threads are infuriating. Although I can see you mean well, it is very obvious that you haven't got experience of how schools operate. So when we have to point out the obvious flaws (e.g. you need spare staff to supervise so that the teacher/TA can go to the toilet - you can't leave children alone) we then get criticised by the teacher-bashers for 'refusing to work'

Tyranttoddler Thu 04-Jun-20 23:01:52

'But what are the ideas? Im not a teacher, however I’ve thought of several creative ideas that could work. If I WAS a teacher, I’d have suggested them to my SLT'

Oh, I wish that were possible.

EachDubh Thu 04-Jun-20 22:53:03

Excuse the typos, fat fingers small phone 🙄

EachDubh Thu 04-Jun-20 22:52:10

Are you referring to me?
No Inhave never worked in CAMHS, I work fairly closely with them throughout the year and my friend is fairly senior.
The waiting list and times are long, more funsing is needed but in our area schools and CAMHS work closely together to support each other.

CountessFrog Thu 04-Jun-20 22:40:14

As an aside, I’m going to say that I’ve seen lots of responses where a teacher replies ‘you’ve obviously never worked in schools.’

I’m going to reply ‘you’ve obviously never worked in CAMHS.’

EachDubh Thu 04-Jun-20 21:54:24

*My very good friend is at the end of her tether. One Very bright secondary dc who’s not engaging in home learning, she can’t sleep with worrying.*

Your good friend needs to get in contact with the school and speak directly to them they know this child and cn work a plan to help support. We cannot offer advice on an unknown, many very bright children don't engge at school either and learn by cramming or by paying just enough attention.

*My dds 13 year old friend has just been prescribed anxiety medication. I’m positive this would not have happened if she’d been at school with friends.*

Do the parents need to speak to CAHMs? Obviously they are in touch with the dr who mayhave made a referral. Lots of kids are anxious at school and suffer tremendously being in the school building ☹️ this is why most schools are planning to do lots of health and wellbeing work on return to meet the neds of all the different children.

*I fear this is going to be the start of many dc going down this route. It all started off as a novelty for them, now the isolation from peers is becoming their normal.*

As above massive input on mental health, something that needs to happen more even in normal times. Also, as educators, we need to start working with parents, and communities as to how to support mental health needs during lockdown and part time schooling. Perhaps psychologists leading team/zoom discussions with small groups of kids, voice only. But it would require parents, schools, governments to sig up to this. To be honest just going back to school will not solve it but may in fact make it worse. Mental health issues have been rising for years, teachers are expected to council/support children with serious issues which waiting on appointments. We are not trained at this level and can inadvertently cause harm. We need government to make our children's mental health a priority and have trained people in school to support them.

*I’m clearly clueless about schools so what do you think we should do?*

We know what the guidelines from the government are so we look at what we can do within these. Then we look at what the greatest need is. If it is mental health we need to get specialist teams in to work with our kids, perhaps that could become a priority learning time when in school or during online learning.
If it is gaps in learning or disengagement then we look to address this. For many people learning is not a priority just now. They are worried about family health, money and the changes in the world. We have to be holistic in our approach to helping our children and our communities. We start from the child and work out, yes it will be constrained by howbopen we are allowed to be, just like the NHS, but if we have parents working with us we can find ways together.

Other ideas...
Just opening and returning as normal. This can't be done safely, yet. We are all constrained by government guidlines just now and until they change we have to work differently.

For learning we need to ensure all children can access online learning and that those who can't due to need (not financial that area the government can sort) have a differnt form of access or that these children become the group that needs to be in schools now. Is it time to look at moving key workers groups out of schools and into sports centers etc for child care and have children in school being supported?
If it is for mental health reasons then perhaps groups led by mental health professionals using sports centers etc could be set up to support groups of children in activities that promote and aupport their mental health in a positive way.
Maybe communities could come together to organise support, utilise expertise within the community. Offer support like communities offered to shielding people. Obviously this would be difficult to police and could lead to vulnerability. So maybe not a great idea.

What can staff in a school do? Some staff will be working flat out just now, I know we here lots of stories about teachers sunning themselves 23h a day but they are not the majority. We are always told to work smarter, our latest was work out how to teach full time and do full time online lesson within your hours? 🙄😳 Trust me it is so much easier to be back doing the normal stuff. The problem we have is that social distancing is a thing just now, lots of threafs have discussed why schools are in such bad shapes and have too few staff. What do we need? Government finances, volunteers, extra people and apaces to allow ua to bring more back in. Maybe 1/2 in for education in school and 1/2 in community areas doing sports and mental health stuff supported by staff from these areas? That way parents get back to work, your kids will learn better in smaller focused groups and mental health issues will be dealt with.

larrygrylls Thu 04-Jun-20 21:46:26

I think the government, in this instance (not many others) is getting it right. Get a few year groups back and see what happens. I am assuming that if there is not much virus in schools after a couple of weeks, they can plan on other year groups going back.

The evidence from schools is, luckily, encouraging but, if they rushed it, it could allow another resurgence of virus.

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Jun-20 21:40:51

Nor production, supply and demand issues.

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Jun-20 21:40:28

Keepdistance, I conclude after that post you have no idea about the reality of schools.

Notonthestairs Thu 04-Jun-20 21:34:06

@Notateacher2020 grin I'm also not a teacher.

Am awaiting those posters that love a chance to blame workshy teachers lazing in their gardens (sack them!) and the unions.

Keepdistance Thu 04-Jun-20 21:27:37

I dont think they would need many extra as some have ta and teacher already so 1 doing each bubble. (Obviously not if no ta or if shielding teacher/vulnerable).
Prefabs- dc school has one already it was wheeled down the road over the summer they are not cold it must be insulated like a garden office. It is however only 2 storey so 4 classrooms. I doubt it was that expensive when considering teacher pay etc and that nhs are being given £60k per death (not enough but adds up to millions).

Ironically city centres probably dont need to SD as much as some might have 17% immunity.
Even an average school will have maybe 1/20 immune.
I do agree it should work for all but not all are being treated equally now anyway if some are getting online lessons and as you say some getting more days back or none etc.

Reception are outside a lot anyway.
But i personally would nt start the new starters till after xmas when they might be more independent or able to sit still etc and really they can catch up and arent even legally obliged to be there. That gives 1 extra classroom anyway.
Plus they need most help close up and with reading and writing.

Im actually really behind teachers and think gov are really wrong not to allow masks etc (not least as it's putting many vulnerable families at more risk too).

Most kids would not give a crap the teacher had a mask on its an outfit.
They will be seeing them on people around and on PT.
People here are so precious. It's not like every child is scared of the dentist and if they are it's not the masks. As when dd had to have an op she was scared of the needle and the tongs but not the masks

Beawillalwaysbetopdog Thu 04-Jun-20 21:20:19


It's an interesting idea.

How would teachers with children get childcare?

How would teachers spend time with their kids/partners etc (the weekend is the only time I see them)

I know plenty of other people work w/e shifts, but presumably most people who do this knew that was the case when they applied for the job? This would be asking thousands of people to cange their working days.

Notateacher2020 Thu 04-Jun-20 21:09:40

Why does this person post a variation of the same question It's nauseating.

I haven't even been on mumsnet long and I already feel like "myjoywillneverreturn". I mean shit me, it's literally same thing, different day. Putting me off mumsnet mate.

Subordinateclause Thu 04-Jun-20 21:02:51

I'm sure there are schools where staff are (understandably) not in as they are shielding, but I'd like to point out that's not the case everywhere. Every member of staff, teaching and non-teaching, is back in my primary working their normal number hours. Some posters, here and elsewhere, would have you believe all teaching staff are sitting around on their backsides. We are providing daily differentiated tasks online for every year group, including those children in R/Y1/Y6, as well as face-to-face teaching for the permitted groups and key worker children.

MrsHaversham Thu 04-Jun-20 21:02:45

Actually it's not the third thread it's the fifth!!

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Jun-20 20:57:47

Also who is paying for these prefabs, how long will it take to order them, can supply match demand, will they be warm enough in the winter?

There are many schools which are struggling to buy text books and flaming pencils!!!

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Jun-20 20:55:58

Otherwise some school could build prefabs or tents for sept - nov time.

Maybe in the suburbs and rural areas but certainly not more urban areas where outside space is already extremely limited and where attainment is generally already lower.

That is a solution which will only serve to widen the opportunity gap.

Any ideas need to be something that universally can be implemented in some way.

Part of the problem with these guidelines is precisely because they are not universally able to be applied because of infrastructure issues - and this factor is one of the major ones about why we are getting some schools who are able to welcome back all reception, year 1 and year 6 whilst it's a physical impossibility for others. Something which some believe is the fault of 'lazy teachers' rather than the government. I do have to wonder how much the parents who are critical of the school in these circumstances regularly engage with the school in normal times and are therefore aware of the amount of space available. I feel like I'm living in a parallel dimension to others.

I have volunteered at DS's school until lockdown, and they were already teaching kids with special needs in the corridor on a daily basis. Whenever I went in to listen to the kids reading, it was like musical chairs moving around to find any available unused space.

The guidelines are nuts, and that's what's hamstrung the teachers.

MrsHaversham Thu 04-Jun-20 20:54:34

@whenthejoyreturns This is the third thread you've made about teachers. Why do you think teachers will be able to answer your question? They didn't shut the schools, write the guidance or invite only a select few year groups beck. Why don't you lobby your MP for the answers you want, seeing as these directives have come from the Government? Or is being goady on MN a better use of your time?

penguinsbegin Thu 04-Jun-20 20:41:40


1. How would you recruit more than double the teachers when there is a recruitment/retention crisis as it is (I say more than double to cover the teacher's that are shielding and have died due to Covid)

2. How would you pay for the prefab buildings/extra staff/extra resources/electricity bill. Schools struggle to stay a float as it is!

I have no problem working weekends (we all work weekends at home anyway) but there just aren't enough teachers or enough money.

Keepdistance Thu 04-Jun-20 20:30:09

Not being mean but logically teachers will not be held accountable for either
- results

Now attendance is logical and i dont want it enforced as i think it's too soon.
Results again logical but also tests scrapped and the kids moving up a year but sept and the likelihood that kids werent going to be back before then so really no incentive for teachers to provide online lessons (even if possible) or even more than links etc. Obviously many do go above the minimum. But there does need to be a higher minimum level as many kids will be SI shielding etc.

I think schools need to consider a 7 day week as the falling down is mainly buildings. Im sure some wouldnt mind changing to weekends if it means its safer and guaranteed to be say 6m only.
We could then do 2/2/3 days etc. Also this would reduce impacts on everyone being off on weekends and public transport usage during weekdays for kids.
Obviously not much use for working parents but helpful at secondary maybe and at primary people might be happier if it means their kids get more days of school /smaller classes and bubbles etc. Many kids clubs probably wont start up yet anyway and school is only till 3-4pm so you can still go out.
They might struggle with getting 3 sets of teachers but otherwise if groups of 15 you could have thur-sat and sun -wed etc for eg. Or 3.5 days each. So teachers and ta would be doing less contact time effectively paying them a bit more to work weekends. Or could spend 1 day setting online work.

Otherwise some school could build prefabs or tents for sept - nov time. Ours could so at least some kids could go more days.
One off payments of say 150 for a tablet for kids to use or for internet access (50x3). We really shouldnt have everyone held back because some dont have internet access. They could save that much if we dont need uniform this year...

FrippEnos Thu 04-Jun-20 19:45:52

Do you not find it seriously fucking annoying interesting that posters have complained that teachers should do as they are told.

Now we are getting complaints that we are doing as we are told.

Make your fucking minds up.

Piggywaspushed Thu 04-Jun-20 19:21:18

I have actually cried twice today because the subject I love teaching just cannot be taught live remotely. It just can't. And pressure (and lack of a desire to listen to me, or believe me) has led this to being a solution that is not better. Add to that some live groups with 80 students in them at one time... hey presto; things are worse than they were before sad

EducatingArti Thu 04-Jun-20 19:16:51

Sorry, posted too soon. In response to the above comment:
It is indeed a really difficult situation. I am a private tutor, not a teacher and don't always think that every school has worked in the best way for every student.
However, I think part of the problem is that the education system was pretty much broken before Covid19. Many SLTs and teachers were already using as much creativity and proactivity as they could muster just to keep going.
Most teachers and school leadership want to look after the students they teach but there is a massive lack of financial, physical and emotional resource to take this further. Just how imaginative do they need to be? I think teachers in the main are probably all out of imagination from just keeping going in normal times. The reason you may not have realised this is because of teachers' care and positivity and desire to support your child. They have been making the best of a bad situation for a very long time!

Think about how the NHS would have coped with Covid19 without extra finances, extra hospitals, coopting all private hospitals and even involving the military. Even then the NHS is still a long way from being back to normal with things like routine physio maybe taking 18 months to come back on line. People's health and lived have been badly affected by this but in the main, people understand things can't just go back to normal straight away .

Without additional funds, buildings and staff, there is a serious limit to what staff can manage. Maybe we should be recruiting troops as temporary TAs to work with some of the reduced size classes. Maybe the military should be building new temporary classrooms and washrooms on school sites. Maybe some other buildings could be used temporarily as teaching spaces, but none of this can be put into place by individual schools. If they haven't got money for photocopying or soap, they definitely haven't got money for any of the above.
Please petition your MP and the government to give the resources needed for schools.

EducatingArti Thu 04-Jun-20 18:57:51

" I don’t understand is why schools wouldn’t try to be hugely creative and pro-active right now and use the time they have to reduce the damage already done."

Barbie222 Thu 04-Jun-20 17:20:24

@CountessFrog that was me on the other thread. It's an awful thing that your daughter is being expected to do, if it's true. However, I can't see any relevance whatsoever to the debate we were having about the realities of part time schooling, so it comes across as dragging darker anecdotes into a debate for the sole purpose of casting an entire profession in a bad light. Why not start a different thread, or better still contact the school? I can guarantee someone will have already spoken up about that as it's a ridiculous proposal.

But to throw it in to a conversation in which you've already several times complained that teachers are not working hard enough doesn't make me feel like you are adding good fuel to the argument. Of course it's ridiculous. Dr Shipman was also awful, but we don't add his name to a conversation about why we're waiting so long for a hospital appointment.

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