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Covid

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:
YounghillKang · 07/06/2020 13:30

Knobchops Hospitals are now pretty empty of covid. We then confirmed that children don’t get ill from this and don’t seem to spread it either.

Bit behind the times in your hospital then? For someone who makes a point of stating that they work for the NHS, presumably as a way of making their comments seem more authoritative, it would be helpful if these could also be more factually accurate!

There have been reports since March confirming that children can get Covid-19, and since then concerns about new complications being seen in some children. There was also misreporting in some press and media forums that suggested otherwise but was later corrected! Just a sample of the many, many reports!

Generally, COVID-19 symptoms are milder in children than in adults…Fever and cough are common COVID-19 symptoms in both adults and children; shortness of breath is more likely to be seen in adults. Children can have pneumonia, with or without obvious symptoms. They can also experience sore throat, excessive fatigue or diarrhea. However, serious illness in children with COVID-19 is possible, and parents should stay alert if their child is diagnosed with, or shows signs of, the disease.
Milstone says, “Children are exposed to COVID-19 when the virus contacts their eyes, nose, mouth or lungs. This usually occurs when a nearby infected person coughs or sneezes, which releases respiratory droplets into the air and onto the child’s face or nearby surfaces such as tables, food or hands.”
He says the best way to prevent children from becoming sick with COVID-19 is to avoid exposing them to people who are (or who might be) sick with the virus:
Avoid crowds. Keep kids away from crowded areas when possible.
Stay away from sick people. Keep children at least 6 feet away from anyone who is sick with a cough or fever, including family members.
Coronavirus in Babies & Kids - Johns Hopkins Hospital
www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-in-babies-and-children

Rethinking Covid-19 in Children
There is new evidence that some children may become very sick, and we are beginning to learn more about who may be most at risk and what parents need to watch for.
www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/well/family/coronavirus-children-covid-19.html

Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital, urged policymakers to exercise caution when looking at studies examining the effects of COVID-19 on children. He pointed out that the findings of a Dutch study, which was used as evidence that children do not play a big role in spreading COVID-19, were not statistically significant.
According to his own research, Drosten said, children can carry as high levels of the coronavirus as adults. He and his colleagues warned "against an unlimited reopening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation."
www.businessinsider.com/children-do-transmit-covid-19-says-researcher-amid-confusion-2020-4?op=1&r=US&IR=T

KnobChops · 07/06/2020 13:36

[quote YounghillKang]Knobchops Hospitals are now pretty empty of covid. We then confirmed that children don’t get ill from this and don’t seem to spread it either.

Bit behind the times in your hospital then? For someone who makes a point of stating that they work for the NHS, presumably as a way of making their comments seem more authoritative, it would be helpful if these could also be more factually accurate!

There have been reports since March confirming that children can get Covid-19, and since then concerns about new complications being seen in some children. There was also misreporting in some press and media forums that suggested otherwise but was later corrected! Just a sample of the many, many reports!

Generally, COVID-19 symptoms are milder in children than in adults…Fever and cough are common COVID-19 symptoms in both adults and children; shortness of breath is more likely to be seen in adults. Children can have pneumonia, with or without obvious symptoms. They can also experience sore throat, excessive fatigue or diarrhea. However, serious illness in children with COVID-19 is possible, and parents should stay alert if their child is diagnosed with, or shows signs of, the disease.
Milstone says, “Children are exposed to COVID-19 when the virus contacts their eyes, nose, mouth or lungs. This usually occurs when a nearby infected person coughs or sneezes, which releases respiratory droplets into the air and onto the child’s face or nearby surfaces such as tables, food or hands.”
He says the best way to prevent children from becoming sick with COVID-19 is to avoid exposing them to people who are (or who might be) sick with the virus:
Avoid crowds. Keep kids away from crowded areas when possible.
Stay away from sick people. Keep children at least 6 feet away from anyone who is sick with a cough or fever, including family members.
Coronavirus in Babies & Kids - Johns Hopkins Hospital
www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-in-babies-and-children

Rethinking Covid-19 in Children
There is new evidence that some children may become very sick, and we are beginning to learn more about who may be most at risk and what parents need to watch for.
www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/well/family/coronavirus-children-covid-19.html

Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital, urged policymakers to exercise caution when looking at studies examining the effects of COVID-19 on children. He pointed out that the findings of a Dutch study, which was used as evidence that children do not play a big role in spreading COVID-19, were not statistically significant.
According to his own research, Drosten said, children can carry as high levels of the coronavirus as adults. He and his colleagues warned "against an unlimited reopening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation."
www.businessinsider.com/children-do-transmit-covid-19-says-researcher-amid-confusion-2020-4?op=1&r=US&IR=T[/quote]
All this is a pile of crap.

munchbunch12 · 07/06/2020 13:49

@Weepinggreenwillow thanks for this, I've just used part of it in a letter I've just sent to my MP. Hope that's OK.

Weepinggreenwillow · 07/06/2020 13:50

hmmmyounghillklang not sure if that random selection of media reports is meant to suddenly make us all OK about the total lack of education for our children but it isnt working for me!
I have never said I am not concerned about the safety of children or school staff, in fact in my letter I have acknowledged the difficulties of planning a safe return. However it most certainly does not mean I am happy to sit back and watch my children's mental health and wellbeing suffer as they continue to be deinied an education indefinitely.

OP posts:
Weepinggreenwillow · 07/06/2020 13:51

munchbunch that's fine. The more people that do this the better the cahnce that someone somewhere will at least listen!

OP posts:
Spikeyball · 07/06/2020 14:01

Many children have previously been without education for 6 months or a year or 2 years and people haven't generally cared about that.

Weepinggreenwillow · 07/06/2020 14:16

spiky actually I used to work in CAMHS and I knew of children not able to access education for various reasons and I can assure I did care about that. As a department we fought for those children and supported their parents to do so. But that is not really the point here is it? This is about now, about what is effecting us currently. You may not be effected by this which is great. Or you mave a different opinion, which is fine. But just because some children have previously struggled to access education does not mean that now we should all sit back as a nation and accept that for all our children.

OP posts:
SudokuBook · 07/06/2020 19:11

So because some children previously might have been unable to access education then it’s OK to deprive millions of children of one?

Also if you choose school as a means of educating your children you have to send them. Bit rich to then claim that they don’t have to offer schooling.

Nothing can be said that will convince me this travesty is in any way justifiable in proportion to the threat this virus presents to over 99% of the population. It’s completely beyond ridiculous. Nothing except schools opening to pupils fully after summer is remotely acceptable.

Apple1971 · 07/06/2020 19:22

Great letter.

I’m a secondary teacher. Our SLT are fantastic and doing everything they can to get a good program in place for yr10 and 12 in the next few weeks - but it’s only 6 more weeks until the end of term for this year, and we’ve had no guidance at all for September.

We need time to plan and work things out and that time is rapidly disappearing. There also needs to be guidance ahead of time from government on what is expected, the use of halls etc might work in some areas, but we are in inner London and We don’t have space for portacabins or local community halls I can think of (at least not enough for the large number of schools in a small area)

I just want things to be planned so we can ensure the best is being done for the kids - a last minute botch it together effort isn’t helping anyone.

Spikeyball · 07/06/2020 19:26

"So because some children previously might have been unable to access education then it’s OK to deprive millions of children of one?"

Just be honest, it's about your child not getting an education. You don't care about the others.

SeasonFinale · 07/06/2020 19:31

Key worker children are integrated back into their year groups as they return at our school so I do feel that some of the issues you address you should be taking up with your school.

Also does your head support this? If so perhaps he could send it out to all those parents who are opposing the return to school and exerting pressure on the government from the other perspective.

Unfortunately there is not a united front amongst, parents, teachers, heads and schools and thus on this issue the government will never "win".

tilder · 07/06/2020 19:34

Great letter. I will adapt and use.

Current situation is not working for anybody. Am not expecting business as usual in September, but I am expecting better than the current situation. Which requires planning. Now.

And it's not about needing childcare ffs. It's about education. The childcare issue is separate but strongly linked to education. Needs to be addressed in parallel to education if parents have a hope in hell of returning to work.

SudokuBook · 07/06/2020 19:38

Just be honest, it's about your child not getting an education. You don't care about the others

You’ve got no idea about what I do and don’t do in respect of education and issues like the attainment gap anyway. But do I care more about kids education in general than them being thrown under a bus to largely protect people over 80? Yes.

SudokuBook · 07/06/2020 19:40

The point is schools will have been closed for 5 months when they reopen. They could have dreamt up this shit in a weekend!

tempnamechange98765 · 07/06/2020 19:41

Following.

I'm lucky that my DC are young - but the eldest is due to start reception in September. My concern is the lack of early years experience he's getting now, and will continue to have - the social element, developing skills. As an eldest child and only child in the family, he's been surrounded by adults and has taken a bit longer to adapt to childcare settings as it is. This is only going to hold him back further.

Powerof4 · 07/06/2020 19:47

Great letter. I will write similar to my MP. Thought and planning needs to go into September at government level now.

The80sweregreat · 07/06/2020 20:09

If they can allow protests in big cities they can allow children to go back to school.
The NHS has been protected now.
It's time to move on and protect our young, put measures in place , but they should be back before the six weeks holidays.
I didn't feel this way last week but I do now.
I know it's hard and all the arguments against , but it has to happen eventually.

BackInTime · 07/06/2020 20:14

If airlines get the green light to travel in the next few weeks then schools need to open. If it's deemed safe to fly in an enclosed space with no social distancing for a couple of hours and pass through busy airports then unions can no longer argue that it is unsafe to open schools. Same goes for pubs and restaurants.

Abkbjbjb · 07/06/2020 20:18

Brilliant letter and agree entirely. We are starting to lose sleep now at the thought of our poor kids missing out on their education. If you don't mind I would also like to use it 😀well done

Dontiknowit · 07/06/2020 21:54

@Weepinggreenwillow yes actually good teachers will be able to offer an effective curriculum this way. I know it isn't ideal and it will be bloody hard work for the teachers but it is their job. Teachers are required to have an undergraduate degree and QTS. They understand pedagogy and whilst they may need to brush up on subject knowledge to teach other subjects the mechanics of teachijg are the same. Even if they are teaching a different they will be able to talk to colleagues and use their planning. Because the bubble will just have one teacher that teacher will know them really well (unlike when you have a different teacher for every subject and many children get lost in the crowd) so I'd say that's a positive in terms of them getting the help they need in the way they like to learn.

Dontiknowit · 07/06/2020 21:58

I don't say this to try and undermine the views in your letter. You are absolutely right to stand up for children's right to an education.
I only want to reassure you that if your children do end up in a key worker bubble, I'm sure their teacher will do everything they can to provide them with the education they need.

Chaotic45 · 07/06/2020 22:30

I can't believe that the headline news is about the debate over whether it's safe for people to fly sitting stuffed together for hours in planes whilst schools are not able to open to educate our children.

KeepWashingThoseHands · 07/06/2020 23:28

#whatstheplanGavin

chocolatviennois · 07/06/2020 23:44

Thank you for writing this brilliant letter. I hope that a normal education can resume for all our children at the earliest opportunity. I also think it is sad that things like Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and school trips probably won't take place for months. No orchestras, choirs etc.

pontypridd · 07/06/2020 23:54

Groups of teens are roaming around parks and streets here too.

My son usually doesn't (as it's not very safe - we're in London) but I'm considering sending him out there with his friends now because his mental health is plummeting being isolated and bored like this.

What is this going to result in? We get awful stuff happening here in the holidays when kids are bored and out and about. Loads of stabbings etc This summer (when the little work and contact there is from schools stops) is likely to be a lot worse.

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