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Why on earth are so few parents signing the petition to reopen schools?

233 replies

canary1 · 17/06/2020 23:23

I am disgusted that children are shut of schools currently. The priority seems to be opening non essential shops and football. Our children are being failed. I am wondering why on earth are so few signatures on the petition to reopen schools? We should be matching on Westminster, not taking this! I can see less than 5000 signatures....

OP posts:
Notnownotneverever · 18/06/2020 09:17

Currently happy with the situation as it is. I want school left as key worker children only and want to continue with educating my DC at home for now. That’s why I wouldn’t and haven’t signed.
Not everyone feels the same as you OP. That is the obvious answer.

CarrieBlue · 18/06/2020 09:17

Few teacher friend desperate to get back and it's a flat no from the union.

There are many teaching and support staff unions - please would you tell me which one has given ‘a flat no‘ to wider opening of schools?

LilyMumsnet · 18/06/2020 09:17

We're just moving this over to our petitions topic. Flowers

Jkslays · 18/06/2020 09:18


Why aren't I signing the petition?

Because I don't believe there's a magic wand to make all the problems with opening schools go away. What this - and the paediatricians letter - is effectively demanding, is abandon all social distancing and all precautions, and go back to pre Covid normal. Which would be lovely for everyone.

Why do we have the precautions at the moment again?

Oh yes. There's a pandemic.

Which we are clearly on the way out of.
oldwhyno · 18/06/2020 09:18

my first impression was that the petition is wrong or out of date. It kicks off with "At the moment schools are closed due to Covid-19". They mostly aren't closed now. They're not fully open, but they're not closed.

I think there's a such a thing as Poorly Positioned Petition. (tm)

FromMarch2020 · 18/06/2020 09:19

Replying to this:
iVampire Wed 17-Jun-20 23:32:56
What solution to you proposed for shielded children? For that needs to come in at the same time, for the most vulnerable and isolated really must not take an educational hit as well

Perhaps a teacher that is shielding can continue to WFH can take on any shielding children in the area - subject to a maximum number and provide work remotely etc so that they are able to continue working on education safely.
The children that do not need to shield (the vast majority) could return though.

DippyAvocado · 18/06/2020 09:20

Few teacher friend desperate to get back and it's a flat no from the union.

Confused Which union is this? Most of my colleagues, including me, are in the NEU which is the biggest union and we are all back at work. A couple of other colleagues are in the next largest union and are also back at work.

Frazzled2207 · 18/06/2020 09:21

I think it’s poorly worded. Most schools are actually open just not to the majority of pupils. I think it’s a disgrace that there is no proper plan to get them all open in September.

jokergal · 18/06/2020 09:24

I can see why you would want schools open but many don't understand how unbearable social distancing would be in schools. For start my local schools have about 1000 pupils two meters apart constantly would mean that they would have to be spread out 2000 metres which most schools do not have.Libraries would not be able to be used nor canteens so schools would have to make a new prepaid meal system.And many teachers would not attend due to risk

donquixotedelamancha · 18/06/2020 09:33

Given that there is.a predicted second wave in the autumn and a possible 2021 wave I would rather the focus was on all children being educated properly remotely.


I think it's too late to do anything natiowide before summer. What we need to be doing is putting pressure on the government to plan and resource for as much schooling as possible next year and good contingencies for when kids can't be in school.

At the moment they've prohibited schools from using other facilities, refused to fund any safety equipment like IR thermometers and refused to fund any additional staff. Most schools aren't LEA controlled anymore so there is little scope to swap staff to where they are needed or pool resources. There is no national co-ordination so each area and each academy chain is muddling through differently, which massively slows things down.

Instead of trying to demonise anyone who asks questions, the government should be:

  • Take home learning away from schools and give it to a well resourced group of teachers who have the resources to produce gold standard, differentiated resources for the country. This will massively free up resources currently spent of every school in the country trying to set the same work, poorly.

  • Put all schools back in LEA control for the next year and give LEAs the money and authority to co-opt academy chain adminstrators to help.

  • Have one national plan for all kids to be in school at the start of September and what to do if they need to limit numbers during flu season- but that means paying more cleaners and lots of supply staff for when teachers have to self isolate and test. Some schools will need a lot more resources to be able to do it.

  • IR thermometers at every school gate and face masks for all pupils.

Why can’t other schools be exempt from social distancing?

Because head teachers are not willing to ignore the guidance that every other organisation has to follow. They don't want to be the cause of someone's death.
rwalker · 18/06/2020 09:41

@carrieblue @dippyavocado
Few teacher friend desperate to get back and it's a flat no from the union.

confused Which union is this? Most of my colleagues, including me, are in the NEU which is the biggest union and we are all back at work. A couple of other colleagues are in the next largest union and are also back at work.

They to are in the NEU and feel they are being constructively unhelpful making the mass re opening difficult if not impossibble .There rep doesn't want them to open and gave them a list of question to thwart there schools reopening .

donquixotedelamancha · 18/06/2020 09:45

Few teacher friend desperate to get back and it's a flat no from the union.

The unions put two reopening plans to the government months ago (one for Y6 and 10 followed by Y5 and one for just expanding the key worker lists on a school by school basis). They asked for money for cleaners and health checks.

Right up until the day before Boris' announcement that schools should just re-open no-one in the DfE had a clue what was going on. They repeatedly told the unions that nothing would happen until September.

Well connected academy chain CEOs, union heads and senior academics all tried to speak to ministers about a detailed plan for school reopening but no-one could get engagement.

There rep doesn't want them to open and gave them a list of question to thwart there schools reopening

Questions from an unpaid school rep are not going to thwart their school's reopening.

There might be some schools where staff are digging in because a particular head is an idiot; but in 99% of cases the bariers to opening are: staffing the split groups, lack of space, lack of resources (like hiring cleaners or getting hand sanitiser) and the sheer time it takes to plan around multiple changes in guidance.

LastTrainEast · 18/06/2020 09:46

canary1 it's because most people understand why. You should take it as a sign that you should have listened when they explained it the first 150 times.

LittleCabbage · 18/06/2020 09:49

Just to be clear, I think most of us think it is too late for this academic year. My concern, and I think I share it with many others, is to ensure there is a clear plan put in place to get all children back to school in September. At the moment, even that seems very uncertain.

TwoMuchTwoYoung · 18/06/2020 09:56

Not aware there was a petition until this thread.
Have signed.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince · 18/06/2020 09:56

‘The school shut for 1/2 inch snow’

The school shuts in snow due to H and S reasons. 1900 kids and 300 staff in my school. All trailing snow in, then changing lessons every hour. Trailed in snow melts, and the corridors become like rivers.

Or the school bus can’t get down the very steep hill to the school.

Or the fact that if a child skids and hurts themselves on a flooded corridor the school will be held responsible.

Or if 1/2 the staff can get it, there’s not enough staff to teach

Ditto dinner staff, no one to make meals.

But it’s just the lazy teachers again

Apple40 · 18/06/2020 09:57

I feel it’s too soon, I feel it is more about getting the economy re started than kids health. I am not having mine be the Guinea pigs to see how children really react to the virus. They are better off at home and learning more. It’s only been 10 weeks off school once you take out the Easter and May half term holidays. It’s not all down to teachers to provide work parents can teach too there are loads of resources online these days.

Italiandreams · 18/06/2020 09:59

There can be no staff crossing of bubbles so if a child needs help toileting , has an accident , needs first aid. The staff member couldn’t help with that and watch all the other children. Plus staff need to be able to have a break and go to the toilet themselves.

Also as many have pointed out, if schools have a TA per class they are very lucky many don’t , and TAs are paid enough to be expected to teach. ( not saying they are not capable , many very much are but it’s not fair to ask them to)

Italiandreams · 18/06/2020 10:01

Sorry *are not paid enough.

Alex50 · 18/06/2020 10:23

@Apple40 and there is the problem. As long as there are a big numbers of parents with this view, the government have a cop out to opening schools. The media have done a great job of scaring parents.
5 children under 15 have died from Covid in the UK. In the report i’ve linked, 134 children were hospitalised. I know of a couple of parents who have died from Covid, the children had hardly any symptoms. The parents picked it up from work, not from the children.

SallyLovesCheese · 18/06/2020 10:53

[quote MsSlightyConfused]@DomDoesWotHeWants I don’t understand - why two members of staff per bubble??

Our school had two members of staff per class, so now have one member of staff per bubble.[/quote]
So teachers and TAs are to have 15 children on their own all day, from 9am to 3:30pm, with no chance to go to the toilet? Or even, in the case of TAs, have their unpaid 30-minute lunch break?

Prettybluepigeons · 18/06/2020 10:53

When schools close because of snow, it is because the local authority have set out parameters and the school have to abide by that. Only half the staff able to come to school? Not safe to open!

Open now to y6? Local government health and safety inspectors come in and say " this is how many children you are allowed in this room"

If each room will only hold, for example, 6 kids, then only 6 kids can come in!

You are assigning way too much power to teachers and unions.
Do you not think that if teachers were this powerful- able to prevent schools fully reopening all over the country- that they'd have had the ridiculous marking knocked on the head years ago?
The government arr running the show, not teachers.

LatteLoverLovesLattes · 18/06/2020 11:00

Because many people are more worried about transmission of a deadly virus than their children being taught at home.

If you're not happy with what your school are providing, talk to them.

Shops being open & schools being open are totally different risk calculations. They're not at all comparable.

Beckwey · 18/06/2020 11:05

Signed. Every child needs the opportunity to return. Not all children can access remote learning because of practicalities, like laptops, or because of SEN or mental heath issues. Real school is so important for the development of children.

LatteLoverLovesLattes · 18/06/2020 11:06

When the scientists, not the economists, say it's safe for schools to return under xyz conditions & the government gives the schools the permission & necessary funds etc to meet those conditions then yes, but sending kids back into unsafe conditions is NOT my idea of a good idea and I won't be signing ANY petition to get all kids/teachers back before then. Definitely not unconditionally. We have NO idea where things will be with the virus in Sept. For all we know transmission rate could be worse than it was in March. Especially if they open everything up & drop the 2m rule.

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