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Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.


Are we key worker parents and our families just not important?

123 replies

Bbq1 · 19/03/2020 16:42

Fuming and so angry that schools are opening for children of key workers. It's ok for non working parents and non essential people to stay at home but the rest of us working people are just thrown to the dogs to take our chances? I work in an educational setting where the sick and vulnerable children will attend while we are exposed to the illness. Surely they are the very children that should be staying home while schools open for healthy children?

OP posts:

Sunflower20 · 19/03/2020 17:57

Ok so what do you suggest for a family of two ITU consultants with 2 kids?! That's a common set up amongst medics.
It's not ideal for teachers but YABVVVVU.


cassgate · 19/03/2020 18:02

I am a TA and all staff will be in on Monday. After Monday it is likely we will work on a rota basis. Most of us have children of our own and it is unclear if we can take our own children in with us or if we need to arrange places at their own school. We will be continuing this over the Easter holidays as well. We will know more tomorrow as we don’t even know numbers yet.


Mrhodgeymaheg · 19/03/2020 18:04

I would feel worse for putting my child in the school to be exposed to other children who have potentially been exposed through their parents. We need those parents in work though. What would the alternative be? Tou need to speak to someone about mitigating the risks properly and you may feel better about doing it. Could be worse - some people will have already lost their jobs and face months of being unemployed.


Marmalady75 · 19/03/2020 18:10

@Keepcalmanddoyourbit The problem I have is that grandparents do drop off/ pick up and afternoon care for nursery child. They are in the group advised to self isolate for 12 weeks. I’m happy to do my job, but if it is childcare rather than teaching, then my dc should be able to come with me. My boss has already said no to that option.


Ylvamoon · 19/03/2020 18:23

I work in a support role for key workers... I still have to go to work, while DC are at home as my work does not qualify.
I am lucky enough that DH works shift and my place is very accommodating letting us work early / late..... But it's going to be a struggle! DS primary school has told us parents they still need to do around 3 hours of learning each day.
I think everyone has their role to play and do their best under the circumstances.


Riv · 19/03/2020 18:24

I do think some people are mixing up the sort of child that has an EHCP and a child that is socially vulnerable.

The latter includes students who may be at risk of neglect or abuse, someone who needs school as a sanctuary. There are also children who will go hungry and cold if they are not in school. it may also include those who come from low income families who just can't afford to stop working and/or can't afford to live on what they earn.

The former, i.e. those with an EHCP may have similar additional difficulties, but that is not why they have an EHCP.
Children with an EHCP, especially those in dedicated special schools that have to stay open (and like the one I suspect the OP works in) are often medically vulnerable. Their teachers are not medically trained (although they, not medical professionals, deal with the children's medical problems daily whilst teaching). These are children who have complex health conditions and require a high staff-pupil support ratio, can’t easily fight off infections. Children with tracheotomies, peg fed, need oxygen, have daily seizures, have compromised immune systems. Children who are likely to suffer far more than the average healthy child is believed to do with COVID-19. These are the children that the head teachers union and the government agree should be in school whilst the rest of the school population are sent home.

Is this really safe? Have they really thought it through?


HermioneWeasley · 19/03/2020 18:51

JFC, do you want food on the shelves of your supermarket? Medical care if you or a loved one falls ill?

Then those workers need childcare. Minimum wage supermarket workers didn’t exactly sign up to be in the front line of a pandemic, but here we are.


Kitten124 · 19/03/2020 19:06

Does anyone know how the government are going to support parents who are not considered to be essential workers, but who are expected by their employers to continue working?! Do we leave under 10s at home alone? Because that is the only option for many.


blueskys72 · 19/03/2020 19:15

Kitten that's my question too. I'm not a key worker but am expected to be in work as normal on Monday when my DC's special school is closed. No one else to look after DC.


villamariavintrapp · 19/03/2020 19:20

I kind of agree with you OP, I know it's unreasonable really, but I do feel quite resentful that I have to carry on at work, and my kids will have to carry on at nursery exposed to whatever. I'm pregnant too. Yet everyone else gets to stay home and keep their kids safe. I'm a doctor, and I think this would have been fine back in the days when that was a vocation, and lifestyle really, sacrifices were expected but there was more of a payoff somehow, but now, it's just a job. When negotiating salaries and conditions the government has made it clear that we're replaceable employees. But now they need us, we're still expected to make all the sacrifices. Maybe I'm just hormonal, but it grates on me too.


PerfectParrot · 19/03/2020 19:23

Employers are simply going to have to be more flexible. Staggered hours, more wfh etc. Government need to be more forceful in their language (eg employers MUST allow wfh if at all possible, dedicated response team to deal with employers flouting the directive). A government universal income for 3 months would help so those who are worried about paying bills can take unpaid leave. Those of us who don't need it cos we are still working could / should donate the money (eg to food banks).


Kitten124 · 19/03/2020 19:24

Please don’t be resentful, you have more chance of keeping your job and being able to continue to feed your family than so many people.


Katjolo · 19/03/2020 19:32

You'll be surprised at how many clearly sick children turn up to my ds school. Parents drop them then run.


Kitten124 · 19/03/2020 19:32

I’m slightly resentful that other people’s kids will continue to get an education, if I’m honest. Even if I do get to work from home, I won’t be able to properly home school. I’m more worried about that, and losing my job, than the virus. Perhaps that’s crazy but it’s the truth.


Frequency · 19/03/2020 19:35

I'm a care worker. We've just had correspondence stating we will still be providing care to people self-isolating or displaying symptoms of Covid19. Care will be limited to essential care only i.e food, meds, hygiene and shopping calls will now be the carer taking a list and going alone rather than escorting the service user. All social calls have been cancelled.

I'm part of a work group chat. Not a single carer has complained or what-about-me'd. We've stepped up and offered to take shifts or swap around risky calls so that people with vulnerable children can avoid the riskiest shifts/calls but not once have we whined that we still have to do our job. People would die if we didn't. They'd literally starve to death in their beds. Do we not deserve a bit of support with our children so we can help keep your vulnerable relatives alive at the risk of our own health?


TSSDNCOP · 19/03/2020 19:36

I would leave a Union immediately that spoke out to say school staff are not key workers.


Kitten124 · 19/03/2020 19:39

I thought that care workers were getting support with children?


Frequency · 19/03/2020 19:45

We are, by people like OP who are whining about it. I'm not going to work for fun. I'm not being paid extra for it (if you don't count the free hand sanitiser we're being issued with that we normally have to buy). We're not sending our children to school so we can go and get pissed together. We're literally in the same boat as people like OP.


lyralalala · 19/03/2020 19:46

@kitten124 They won't be getting an education. They'll be a small group of kids being supervised by teachers. Probably in mixed age groups and, in time, in mix school groups. They're not going to be sat down and getting on with the academic year with the kids not there missing.


Grasspigeons · 19/03/2020 19:53

Kitten124 - it will be childcare rather than education (although i think it will be very good quality childcare)

The government wants all children at home really - they want as much of society at home as possible, but they realise that some very essential services wont run and some children need very specific support - so we want childcare for those people - but we need as few a children as possible to attend to make it as safe as possible for those children, their families and the teachers. The bigger the group gets the less safe it is and the more the strain on the nhs will be.
Its a disaster all round but the only solution is as many employers as possible will have to adapt. The government also needs to support families.
I cant get my head round the massive changes happening.


Kitten124 · 19/03/2020 19:55

Fair enough, but I do find it frustrating that OP is suggesting non key workers can just stay at home! We have a whole host of other problems including the potential to catch the virus from colleagues.


PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 19/03/2020 20:01

Staying home and self isolating for thee weeks doesn’t mean you won’t get corona. It won’t disappear in that time, it will still spread and will still be around when people reintegrate. The idea is to stagger the number of people who get it and allow those exposed to build up immunity. Then the people who are self isolating now will reintegrate and they will likely get it but the overall number will be less. If there is another peak then it is likely we will be back to local down measures again. This will be the pattern apparently. It means there will be enough medical capacity to treat those who need it at any given time.

So exposing yourself to others now just means you are at risk sooner rather than later. There will be a risk to everyone at some point so this idea of teachers being especially exposed is actually a bit of a red herring. That is how I understand it at least although I stand to be corrected.


PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 19/03/2020 20:01

Lock not local


Parker231 · 19/03/2020 20:02

@kitten124 - as you are resentful perhaps you could volunteer to help with cleaning. DH has volunteered to work at our local hospital rather than his GP surgery


IamHyouweegobshite · 19/03/2020 20:02

I'm a Ta, I have 3 children, my 2 teens could look after youngest, who has asd, I don't know if I'm allowed to work, as I have asthma and use a steroid inhaler every day, but if I can help, I will. I'm not being reckless, I think whatever we can do to help, we should. I've put a post out, along with many others, on fb, that if any parents need help with school work, I'm willing and able. At times like these, we can't have an 'I'm alright Jack, attitude' we need to pull together, whilst socially distancing ourselves, and do whatever we can to help.

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