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Those concerned about ongoing lack of education in Spetember and onwards....

302 replies

Weepinggreenwillow · 07/06/2020 08:02

I know there is a lot of differenc eof opinion on this, this isnt about teacher bashing etc.
But for those who are concerned about the potentail lack of access to full time education in September I would urge you to wrtie to your MP.
I have just done this to express my concern. I have never, ever done this before but I am so, so angry and upset about this I feel I need to do whatever i can, even if it will not help much.

This is my letter - to give you an idea....obviously everyone's individual circumstances will be different but the the general ideas will be similar.

Dear Mr xxxxxx,

In these difficult and challenging times I feel I need to contact you to request your help to address a matter of some urgency. I would like to know what the Government is planning to do regarding the current breach of Protocol 1, Article 2 of the Human Rights act which states that “No person shall be denied the right to an education.”

As an example I have 4 school aged children aged 12, 14, 15 and 18. None of them have received an education since March 17th this year. They have had some work set on line to be completed at home but I can assure that this does not in any way constitute an education. I am a doctor working full time in the NHS. My husband is a secondary school teacher.I fully appreciate all the many implications of this pandemic. I understand the reasons for school closures thus far. However this situation is simply unsustainable at this point. I am increasingly concerned that there seems to be no clear plan in place for a return to education for September. Part time schooling mixed with at home learning is being suggested by many schools. This will not provide my children with an education as both my husband and I will be working out of the home and will not be able to support the children with at home learning. I have been told if I instead chose to utilize the key worker children’s provision my children would need to remain in this “bubble” and would not be able to join their year groups on any day they were in school. The key worker bubble will not be being taught proper lessons unlike the year groups and so my children would be massively disadvantaged as well as missing out on being able to mix with their friends. Given that I have been working flat out in the NHS all through this, I find it incredibly unfair that my children may end up being penalised because of this.

Children all across the country are suffering massively. The many, many vulnerable children and those living in poverty are being placed at great risk of permanent harm. The impacts of this on young people’s mental health will be felt for many years to come.

A child’s right to an education is a basic human right. I understand why this has been temporarily suspended in these unprecedented circumstances but this can not be allowed to continue. I would remind you of the concept of Proportionality which applies when a basic convention is interfered with : this states that “Interference with a Convention Right must not be excessive, arbitrary or unfair, or have too severe an impact on a particular group or individual.” I would argue that interference with this particular human right is having a most severe impact on the group of the nation’s children and I would also argue that currently the interference seems to be both unfair and arbitrary.

I am not unaware of the many challenges of returning children to school safely in September, but I am greatly dismayed by the apparent lack of planning and problem solving that seems to be happening by the government. It was all perfectly possible to build extra hospitals (still unused) and to bring back retired NHS staff, but no such measures, or any other creative problem solving strategies, are being talked about to secure our children's futures it seems. Schools are confused, angered and frustrated at lack of discussion and planning from the Government. It would certainly seem as if the nation’s children and young people are a very low priority for the Government.

So please can you tell me, without further delay, how the Government plans to respond to this ongoing breach of a child’s basic human right to an education.

Yours Sincerely

OP posts:
Drivingdownthe101 · 10/06/2020 08:21

There will be no schooling for other than R1 & 6 until at least September

Our school are opening to Y2 and Y5 next week. R, 1 and 6 are already in. The government didn’t say they can’t get other years back in, just that that are not obligated to.

FirTree31 · 10/06/2020 08:28

Such a good idea OP, I'm going to write a letter this weekend.

We live in Scotland, our school will not be going back until 13 August, even then it will be part time. My youngest is 5 and has not seen or spoken to another child since March 17 apart from his big brother. My eldest is 9 and at least can play games with his friends online and talk to them that way and occasional FT from parents phone.
Children's wellbeing seems to have been an afterthought. How can non critical shops open next week, we can queue at IKEA and look at taps, but we can't send our children to school. SD should just be scrapped in schools and teachers given PPE. You cannot stop children hugging each other. 6 months without education is disgusting.

Bflatmajorsharp · 10/06/2020 08:29

sleepydragons that sounds tough and, as you say, an additional financial burden at this time.

Hope that your ds enjoys school and that he doesn't grow too quickly!

keiratwiceknightly · 10/06/2020 08:32

As a teacher I am really v keen to get schools back - I miss doing my usual job (though still teaching of course), I miss the kids, my colleagues etc. Im worried about my more vulnerable students, many of whom have had appalling experiences during lockdown and missed the normality school brings. I'm also the mum of kids in y10 and y12; believe me I know the difficulties these important year groups are facing.

But also as a teacher I can see how impossible a task organising this will be for our head teachers, especially with minimal, ever changing guidance from govt. Bubbles can be achieved at primary level, though socially distancing small children is pretty much a joke. But at secondary, where the children are constantly changing teachers, where optional subjects require different groups of kids to move together, where practical subjects need particular rooms and equipment.... it's a nightmare. And then you factor in the kids. The hormonal couple who haven't seen each other for weeks. The silly boy, untouched by the virus, who thinks it is amusing to spit over his friends, two of whom have lost grandparents in the last 10 weeks. The challenging kid, wanting to disrupt, who announces he has symptoms at 3pm, meaning that 5 teachers and untold numbers of kids he has been in contact with that day have to self isolate until he is tested.

I just don't know how it can be handled. Either social distancing is over - and that includes supermarkets etc - or schools can only reopen in the most limited way. I'm frustrated to say it as I want to do my job.

Weepinggreenwillow · 10/06/2020 10:24

"I just don't know how it can be handled. Either social distancing is over - and that includes supermarkets etc - or schools can only reopen in the most limited way. I'm frustrated to say it as I want to do my job."

but it doenst have to be that Sd is over everywhere. It all needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture.
This article , that was shared earlier in the thread, explains it well I think.
It is about what the government chose to prioritise and so far that seems to be shops such as ikea and primark, beer gardens and theme parks....with schools , children and young people way down the bottom of their priority list.

OP posts:
Drivingdownthe101 · 10/06/2020 10:34

Social distancing doesn’t have to be all or nothing keiratwiceknightly. It’s about a reduction in contact, not no contact. It’s perfectly reasonable that we could have no/little social distancing in schools, but maintain it in other areas. That will still reduce the overall number of people that someone with Covid can spread it to.

Darlingyouvegottoletmeknow · 10/06/2020 13:35

Thank you op, I used your letter to write an email to my MP. I am very concerned about the effects of long school closures on children, and I think it is disproportionate to the risks for children and teachers.

LadyGAgain · 10/06/2020 19:05

I used some of your letter too and sent it to my MP yesterday.

Weepinggreenwillow · 10/06/2020 19:37

darling and lady the more the better!

OP posts:
Weepinggreenwillow · 12/06/2020 22:05

Not surprisingly, still no response from my MP.......

OP posts:
Drivingdownthe101 · 12/06/2020 22:08

Mine replied saying they realise the situation is difficult and schools will reopen when it it is safe to do so.
One could almost call that a ‘cop-out’.

MotherofPearl · 12/06/2020 22:10

No reply from my MP yet either...

LadyGAgain · 13/06/2020 00:42

Tonight I got a response. And it's fair. But no answers.
What do I do next?

Those concerned about ongoing lack of education in Spetember and onwards....
Those concerned about ongoing lack of education in Spetember and onwards....
Those concerned about ongoing lack of education in Spetember and onwards....
Bool · 13/06/2020 01:02

It is exacerbating the divide between privately educated kids (mine are following their usual timetable and having end of year exams) and state educated kids. Are state educated kids having lessons. I agree this response is disproportionate

listsandbudgets · 13/06/2020 01:15

Bool State schools seem to be patchy. Some are providing amazing provision well up there with decent private schools and others it seems are absolutely abysmal and from some of the comments I've seen here on Mumsnet that's polite.

Not all private schools are providing well either.

DD is in private and has also has a full time table and end of year tests much to her dismay Grin

caringcarer · 13/06/2020 01:26

Good letter op. My foster child is classed as vulnerable as has a SW has not been able to attend school at all as school shut as all teachers apparently shielding. Very little work on class dojo. None of work differentiated. Last week we got phone call asking if he wanted to return. I said great when can he start. Then I was told he can come back but will not be taught any lessons. Just put in a bubble with 2 key workers children and another vulnerable child and they will just do low quality work set on class dojo. I will be keeping him home and teaching him myself for 4 hours each day. If school is not starting back proper in September I will write to my MP.

Weepinggreenwillow · 13/06/2020 07:17

I'm pleased some of you have at least had replies, although as you say they dont really give any asnwers. We need to keep the pressure up, not sure about next steps.
For anyone who hasnt seen it there is a campaign here:
with a petition.
Also a petition here to sig:

I am re-writing to my MP today, and then daily until I get a response!

also of interest is this today, based on a very good articly in the lancet:

OP posts:
Weepinggreenwillow · 13/06/2020 07:18

sorry, second petition link should be:

OP posts:
MayFayre · 13/06/2020 07:25

Petitions signed. I will write a letter to my MP and Gavin Williamson today.

Thank you OP.

NeedingCoffee · 13/06/2020 07:31

Petition signed. Wrote to my MP on Monday; no reply.

Walkingwounded · 13/06/2020 07:32

Great letter op.

I feel the same & have never, ever written to my MP or any politician before - but have done so for this. It is outrageous.

I urge people to write also to the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield. She seems to be one of the few people in authority speaking sense on this & has a strong public voice. I wrote earlier this week & had a reply within one day! Contact is [email protected]

I also wrote to Graham Brady since he is chairman of Tory back benches & might be able to exert some influence.

Angelonia · 13/06/2020 08:09

Petition signed.

RaggieDolls · 13/06/2020 08:15

I've written to my MP OP. The lack of creative thinking is do frustrating. The focus should be on increasing capacity.

NeedingCoffee · 13/06/2020 08:22

Great idea about the Children’s Commissioner; just written to her too. Go me; that’s my second political letter in a lifetime....

GeneticTest · 13/06/2020 08:37

(Not read while thread sorry)
For those saying you’ve not yet heard back from your MP (like @needingcoffee) please bear in mind how much correspondence MPs get.
I work for an MP.
They’re back in Parliament- so need to read the legislation, prepare speeches & questions etc as well as deal with correspondence.

At the moment we get about 300-400 emails a day from constituents. Some are on similar subjects- so please don’t be angry if you get a similar response to someone else- there’s a limited amount of times you can say the same thing in different ways.
Some are very in depth casework queries- requiring lots of emails, letters & calls on their behalf to other agencies. (That’s why MPs have caseworkers). People being deported,evicted, their kids being taken away, losing their benefits, banks screwing up their money, businesses going under. Elderly people not got any food etc etc They have to get priority.

So policy questions- like about schools opening- will take longer to get a response.

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