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Right, we all want schools to open to everyone, and to stay open - so what do we need to do?

(179 Posts)
cantkeepawayforever Wed 05-Aug-20 14:10:29

Whether we are parents, or teachers, or employers, we all want schools to open to all pupils, and then to stay open absolutely reliably for the next academic year.

We want all children to be present, and we want their regular teachers - class teachers or subject specialists - to be in front of them.

The question is how we achieve this. It is very difficult to imagine how schools, especially secondary schools, can be made fully Copvid-safe to prevent transmission within the school..

Therefore, there is a very obvious thing to do - and usefully, it is something we can all do immediately. We have to do our personal best to make sure that Covid doesn't come into the school. If we are parents, we do our best that it's not our child who brings it in; if we are teachers, we make certain as far as we can that we don't bring it in; as interested MN readers we can also do our bit.

I am not talking about shopping washing or permanent isolation. I am just saying that if everyone - absolutely everyone - does their level best to drive Covid out of the community surrounding their school, just by scrupulously following existing rules, it is more likely that that school will stay open.

So, for absolutely everyone in your household, make sure that you:
- Wash your hands properly, with soap, every time.
- Social distance properly - measure out 2 metres, and really get used to how far that is. Do this everywhere, with everyone. Step back from friends, remind family.
- Wear a mask properly, whenever and wherever 2 m distancing isn't possible, unless there is a reason that you can't.
- Teach your child, if of an appropriate age, to wear a mask properly. You have taught your child to wear pants, or a seatbelt. A mask isn't impossible.
- Follow the rules about meeting other people - no more than 6 households outside, no more than 2 inside, still following social distancing guidelines if the guidelines say so (or whatever is currently in force where you live)
- If you arrive at a place that turns out to be crowded, leave.
- If you arrive at a place which doesn't appear to have safe practices in place, leave.
- If invited to an occasion that doesn't match guidance, refuse the invitation.
- Leave your real name and number for track and trace.
- Follow instructions to isolate or quarantine if asked to. Support anyone who has to isolate or quarantine in any way you can, to make doing the right thing easy.
- Get a test if needed.
- If you are 'stretching the rules' at all, don't do it in the final two weeks before schools open.

If you are already doing all of this, then you could take it further by lobbying your MP for money for cleaning in schools and for increasing school transport to allow SD. But if EVERYONE does their absolute personal best to drive Covid out of the community surrounding their own school, just by scrupulously doing what they are meant to do and ensuring that their whole family is doing the same, then we will all be 'doing our best' and ensuring that schools will be able to open safely and stay open reliably.

OP’s posts: |
Fedup21 Wed 05-Aug-20 14:16:13

Brilliant-yes to all of those.

www.nytimes.com/2020/08/04/world/middleeast/coronavirus-israel-schools-reopen.html#click=https://t.co/QYQKN3Vmu8

We need to be very careful that the situation in Israel doesn’t happen in a widespread fashion here, or we’ll very quickly be in lockdown again.

MissEliza Wed 05-Aug-20 14:18:15

You mean people aren't doing all that already?

cantkeepawayforever Wed 05-Aug-20 14:20:01

MissEliza

You mean people aren't doing all that already?

Sadly, no.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Wed 05-Aug-20 14:21:38

-Don’t actively lobby against measures that would make schools safer and more likely to remain open.

Yetiyoga Wed 05-Aug-20 14:26:09

Schools will open. Why wouldn't they now? Even those in local lockdown schools will open (if Scotland is anything to go by)

nellodee Wed 05-Aug-20 14:26:35

Sack Dido Harding, stop paying tax payers money to Boris Johnson's school buddies, hand the money to local health authorities and create a locally based test and trace system that actually works.

CarrieBlue Wed 05-Aug-20 14:27:29

Yetiyoga

Schools will open. Why wouldn't they now? Even those in local lockdown schools will open (if Scotland is anything to go by)

They may open but they won’t stay open if too many staff are ill/isolating

RedskyAtnight Wed 05-Aug-20 14:29:48

One big problem is going to be explaining to teens why they have to SD out of school when it's perfectly fine for them to squash into a small classroom in school.

halcyondays Wed 05-Aug-20 14:30:54

Everybody won’t.

halcyondays Wed 05-Aug-20 14:34:21

And if/when schools go back, there’ll be some people sending on kids when they have coughs/temps etc.

ineedaholidaynow Wed 05-Aug-20 14:36:14

@MissEliza the main reason the rates are going up is because people are not doing the above. Too many households mixing and no social distancing. So people need to be mindful of this.

I think a lot of people thought after half term when schools started opening up that lockdown was effectively over and so they may as well meet up with lots of people, but actually we need people to do the opposite and try and keep their contacts to the minimum especially indoors.

If year groups or whole schools have to close for self isolation please don't blame the school/teachers.

If schools struggle because they have too many teachers off sick, don't just expect the schools to be able to hire cover teachers, most schools don't have the budget to do this.

Accept that school may look different and teaching practices may have to be slightly different for a while. Also understand that schools are being bombarded with changing guidelines.

Encourage your children to follow the revised behaviour policies your schools will have brought in.

Please understand that this is a stressful time for schools. All teachers want to be back in school with their pupils but they want everyone to be safe.

If your children have to be at home due to temporary closures encourage your children to do the work set in that period, especially if they are in Secondary school.

MissEliza Wed 05-Aug-20 14:44:59

@ineedaholidaynow well I've been doing as the Op has described and trying to make sure my dcs do the same. I'm a TA and desperately want schools to reopen for my school's sake and for my dcs sake. I can't do more than I'm doing now and I'm sick of people who aren't trying to follow the rules.

Racoonworld Wed 05-Aug-20 14:50:28

Yes please can everyone follow the rules and then there may be a chance of school’s re-opening. Too many people having non-socially distant play dates, family gatherings, teenagers meeting in large groups, then complaining that schools might not re-open!

ineedaholidaynow Wed 05-Aug-20 14:52:00

@MissEliza we have been following the rules too, as a parent of a soon to be Y11 pupil and a school governor I am desperate for schools to open and stay open

christinarossetti19 Wed 05-Aug-20 14:53:35

Yes to all of this including lobbying MPs for them to put some additional money into schools for cleaning/technology/transport.

mosquitofeast Wed 05-Aug-20 14:55:42

Yetiyoga

Schools will open. Why wouldn't they now? Even those in local lockdown schools will open (if Scotland is anything to go by)

Don't be daft. |Of course they are not going to stay open

mosquitofeast Wed 05-Aug-20 14:56:12

cantkeepawayforever

Whether we are parents, or teachers, or employers, we all want schools to open to all pupils, and then to stay open absolutely reliably for the next academic year.

We want all children to be present, and we want their regular teachers - class teachers or subject specialists - to be in front of them.

The question is how we achieve this. It is very difficult to imagine how schools, especially secondary schools, can be made fully Copvid-safe to prevent transmission within the school..

Therefore, there is a very obvious thing to do - and usefully, it is something we can all do immediately. We have to do our personal best to make sure that Covid doesn't come into the school. If we are parents, we do our best that it's not our child who brings it in; if we are teachers, we make certain as far as we can that we don't bring it in; as interested MN readers we can also do our bit.

I am not talking about shopping washing or permanent isolation. I am just saying that if everyone - absolutely everyone - does their level best to drive Covid out of the community surrounding their school, just by scrupulously following existing rules, it is more likely that that school will stay open.

So, for absolutely everyone in your household, make sure that you:
- Wash your hands properly, with soap, every time.
- Social distance properly - measure out 2 metres, and really get used to how far that is. Do this everywhere, with everyone. Step back from friends, remind family.
- Wear a mask properly, whenever and wherever 2 m distancing isn't possible, unless there is a reason that you can't.
- Teach your child, if of an appropriate age, to wear a mask properly. You have taught your child to wear pants, or a seatbelt. A mask isn't impossible.
- Follow the rules about meeting other people - no more than 6 households outside, no more than 2 inside, still following social distancing guidelines if the guidelines say so (or whatever is currently in force where you live)
- If you arrive at a place that turns out to be crowded, leave.
- If you arrive at a place which doesn't appear to have safe practices in place, leave.
- If invited to an occasion that doesn't match guidance, refuse the invitation.
- Leave your real name and number for track and trace.
- Follow instructions to isolate or quarantine if asked to. Support anyone who has to isolate or quarantine in any way you can, to make doing the right thing easy.
- Get a test if needed.
- If you are 'stretching the rules' at all, don't do it in the final two weeks before schools open.

If you are already doing all of this, then you could take it further by lobbying your MP for money for cleaning in schools and for increasing school transport to allow SD. But if EVERYONE does their absolute personal best to drive Covid out of the community surrounding their own school, just by scrupulously doing what they are meant to do and ensuring that their whole family is doing the same, then we will all be 'doing our best' and ensuring that schools will be able to open safely and stay open reliably.

absolutely - I 100% agree

Yetiyoga Wed 05-Aug-20 14:59:37

@mosquitofeast I don't work in government so obviously I'm not speaking from fact. Equally you can't know if they will shut.
There may be the odd cluster if there is an outbreak in an actual school. But i believe schools will stay open unless something drastic happens now.

frozendaisy Wed 05-Aug-20 15:03:50

But many don't think about schools because, sweeping generalisation here, they haven't had kids yet.

It will only be when a school or two have re-lockdown that some might think it can happen to them.

Clearly I agree with stamping out local transmission for all not just schools, strong, clear, positive messages from our great leaders would help a lot.

ChaBishkoot Wed 05-Aug-20 15:06:13

So my son’s school in the north Eastern US is opening. They are doing the following:
- daily temperature checks
- testing teachers every 2 weeks
- everyone including students above the age of 8 in masks
- all students will be given mask free time during the day (we have been masked for 10 weeks now so the kids are used to it)
- hand washing stations around the school and children encouraged to hand wash
- all desks facing forward.
- encouraging 1m distancing
- children will have their own pens and pencils. No sharing.
- eating at their desks rather than at the cafeteria.
- PE outdoors rather than in the gym till winter hits.

Then more broadly within the city, everyone who steps out of the house is masked. Not just inside shops. All the time. People have been encouraged to stay at home and work. Some shops have been opened but not pubs. Restaurants encouraged to seat people outside and strict social distancing inside. And very very robust contact tracing.

mosquitofeast Wed 05-Aug-20 15:13:33

Yetiyoga

*@mosquitofeast* I don't work in government so obviously I'm not speaking from fact. Equally you can't know if they will shut.
There may be the odd cluster if there is an outbreak in an actual school. But i believe schools will stay open unless something drastic happens now.

well, you are wrong, it will only take two cases to close a school. Schools are going to be opening and closing at all times. All schools have provision in place for blended learning. Because everyone knows it will be needed.

Fedup21 Wed 05-Aug-20 15:13:54

Yetiyoga

*@mosquitofeast* I don't work in government so obviously I'm not speaking from fact. Equally you can't know if they will shut.
There may be the odd cluster if there is an outbreak in an actual school. But i believe schools will stay open unless something drastic happens now.

Well, many would say that opening schools full time as normal next month, will have pretty ‘drastic‘ consequences. We shall see, but I strongly suspect there will be repeated localised closures across the country which will lead to the government implementing new protocols in school which are less popular with some parents, eg mask wearing/part time schooling mixed with remote learning.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 05-Aug-20 15:16:34

The thing is, whatever schools do to mitigate the risks, by FAR the best option is to make it as unlikely as possible that any person brings Covid into the school.

Which is where everyone comes in - if everyone makes certain that their own family (not teens in general, not their neighbours, just their own immediate family) follows all the rules (not any extras, but equally not any 'it's OK to do X because it's OK to do Y') then there will be that much less Covid circulating in the wider community of the school, and so that much less likelihood that after the much-heralded 'full opening' there is a rapid and chaotic 'partial or full closing'.

OP’s posts: |
BigChocFrenzy Wed 05-Aug-20 15:17:13

" it will only take two cases to close a school"

I thought they would only close a bubble; that's one of the reasons for bubbles

Obviously if there are cases in several bubbles, or too many staff off, then the school would have to close

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