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Why do secondary schools need to provide "childcare";

(41 Posts)
DoubleAction Thu 19-Mar-20 07:09:50

I work in a PRU. All our children are vulnerable and all the planning we've been doing for the last weeks has been around that. Although we were planning to teach remotely too our bigger concern was how we were going to safeguard the students, so we are pleased there has been some consideration given to that.

However, I doubt we will get many to attend (always a challenge anyway) when "all" other children are at home .

I also completely understand the childcare element for key workers that is being asked of schools but why do they need to do that in secondary schools?

OP’s posts: |
ooopsupsideyourhead Thu 19-Mar-20 07:13:11

Some of our children in my mainstream secondary have SEN(D) and need an adult to keep them safe. Their parents are still working, and likely will remain so as long as possible.
Some children are so highly vulnerable that school is so much safer for them than home.

It’s a million times “easier” than our primary and specialist provision (including PRU!) colleagues. But it still needs to happen for some students.

Selfsettling3 Thu 19-Mar-20 07:13:34

Because 12/13 hours a day is too long for a child to be in the house by themselves unable to go out and socialise and in worrying times. There are vulnerable kids in mainstream too.

Millymaud Thu 19-Mar-20 07:14:32

I agree with you double, I think it is daft.

LoudBatPerson Thu 19-Mar-20 07:17:03

My child's school have asked parents in the key worker groups to confirm if their child needs a place or if there is a way they can suitably study at home with supervision appropriate or age/need. So they won't be opening for older children, however I imagine the younger years (the 11/12 year olds) may not be able to stay at home all day without supervision.

Then there are the children with EHCP, some of these children are more likely to need supervision even when at school leaving age, and on top of that disruption in schooling would be more likely to have a disproportionate effect on their conditions and future prospects.

Other vulnerable children (those without a stable home life, young carers, those who need school support), could be put under immense strain by not having a safe place outside of the home, for a multitude of reasons. Add to that those with an abusive home life who have school as a refuge.

There are certainly many sets of secondary children who will still need the school environment through this crisis.

TheLinerunner Thu 19-Mar-20 07:18:42

Because not all children with SEN and SEBD are in special schools and PRUs. Large numbers are in mainstream secondaries.

A significant number of mainstream pupils are only 11 and 12 years old.

Some of their parents will be working extremely long days.

DoubleAction Thu 19-Mar-20 07:22:58

Line runner, I agree 100% that Secondaries need to be open for their vulnerable students. I just can't see parents of many secondary age children sending/making them go in even if they are going to work

OP’s posts: |
fedup21 Thu 19-Mar-20 07:25:49

I also completely understand the childcare element for key workers that is being asked of schools but why do they need to do that in secondary schools?

Because not all children can be left at home whilst parent work, especially those who are vulnerable or with SEN.

DoubleAction Thu 19-Mar-20 07:27:29

Yes, the vulnerable need to be cared for but that's not what I was asking

OP’s posts: |
Millymaud Thu 19-Mar-20 07:29:28

It’s similar to snow days, isn’t it - most secondary aged parents don’t worry about finding childcare for them.

Now, I know people will argue that it’s obviously not just a day or two, but the bald truth is that secondary aged pupils don’t need childcare in the way five year olds obviously do. I can’t imagine many kids will be going to school, even if they are entitled to do so.

TheLinerunner Thu 19-Mar-20 07:40:38

I take it the Cabinet Office is producing its list of 'key workers' today? That is, a list of who exactly is expected to be in work in the coming weeks (and months)?

I think it'll be a lot wider than the emergency services.

Millymaud Thu 19-Mar-20 07:41:51

But I think OPs point is that just because your mum is a nurse, at (say) 13, it doesn’t mean you’d be coming into school for childcare.

fedup21 Thu 19-Mar-20 07:47:59

It is to offer it if parents need it-especially for the younger years.

You don’t have to take them up on it!

People would complain if it wasn’t offered for the year 7/8/9s.

BogOffWinter Thu 19-Mar-20 07:56:23

If I had been at high school with a pandemic like this and my school closed I would have been left alone without outside intervention in a mentally and emotionally abusive home. School was always my refuge, if that had been taken away back then I’d not have had anyone making sure I was safe, making sure I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, I wouldn’t have had access to the supports put in place to keep me stable and no one would be making sure I had ate that day. High schools play just as vital a role in caring for their pupils as primary schools do.

TheLinerunner Thu 19-Mar-20 08:14:54

Personal view. I don't think that its a good idea as a matter of policy to have hundreds of thousands of young teenagers home alone, and known to be home alone, throughout the UK for many months, during times of shortages, stress and a pandemic. This is a national crisis, not the summer hols.

TheLinerunner Thu 19-Mar-20 08:16:16

And what BogOffWinter said ^^

day1intheisolationhouse Thu 19-Mar-20 08:19:14

We're not talking about a couple of days here, we're potentially talking about months. No, we shouldn't be leaving teenagers alone in the day with nothing to do for months on end.

Millymaud Thu 19-Mar-20 08:22:30

But bog, nor is it a good idea for children to be coming into school when many of them will have vulnerable parents or siblings. We just aren’t going to be able to cover for every possible eventuality.

BogOffWinter Thu 19-Mar-20 08:30:13

@Millymaud I honestly understand that, I don’t know what the best course of action is in a situation like this. I’m neither a teacher nor any sort of vital member of society right now and I’ve already removed my own children from school because of the risk to them and everyone they come into contact with.

I’m just really tired of people underestimating how important schools are for children of all ages. School was my lifeline as a child and it is a lifeline for my primary aged DS who has additional needs. It feels like there’s far too much teacher and school bashing lately, a poster on another thread even went as far as saying that teachers overestimate how important to the children they are - it’s bullshit. Absolutely commend each and every teacher that has worked to keep children safe and cared for throughout this crisis.

BogOffWinter Thu 19-Mar-20 08:32:54

To add too, not just the teachers that deserve the recognition but all of the school staff. The janitor, support staff, dinner staff etc all make the world of difference to a school and the support and care they give to children.

tootiredtoconga Thu 19-Mar-20 08:49:50

Gavin Williamson has just been on the BBC suggesting the definition of keyworker will include not just frontline NHS staff but all NHS staff, all teachers and school support staff, social workers, delivery drivers and supermarket workers, and anyone whose job is "essential to the economy" or the smooth running of "vital public services" so not just police, fire service but also people who work in waste management, for example as we still need bins emptying. It's clearly going to be very broad. Plus all kids on EHCPs, all children who have a social worker and he's just said also children that have been "flagged up" by school as being vulnerable but don't meet the threshold for an allocated social worker, which is a very high number in my own school.
These are not insignificant numbers of children we're talking about! I understand the need for provision for these children but I'm concerned about how we can ensure their safety with so many staff ill or self-isolating.

Millymaud Thu 19-Mar-20 09:08:34

I don’t think anyone is underestimating it flowers I know it’s an awful situation but realistically some people are going to lose out.

Notcoolmum Thu 19-Mar-20 09:16:41

11, 12 and 13 is still very young to be kept home all day for months on end with no supervision. My friend works in a&e and will be having an incredibly stressful time at work. She doesn't need the added stress of worrying if her son is safe at home too. She needs to be able to focus on the very important job she is doing.

OfDragonsDeep Thu 19-Mar-20 09:21:41

They may not want to admit it, but I think a lot of the younger (and maybe the older) secondary children will be frightened about what is going on.

Whilst they would be ok to leave for a school day in normal circumstances, some parents probably think it would be best for them to be with their peers and teachers to keep them busy/distracted.

vickibee Thu 19-Mar-20 09:22:36

my son has a EHCP because he is HF asd, I am predicting school refusal (mainstream) even though he is eligible to attend. He is desperate to fit in and wants to do what the others are doing. He may need time to get his head around the idea but I will be struggling to get him on board. He is only Year 8 and needs supervision as cannot be left for extended periods - I tried to explain that there will be quite a lot of kids there and it may actually be better for him from a sensory POV

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