Image: TODDLERS RACE. Gouache on Handmade Paper. 1986/7.
STAY ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS, SAVE SCHOOLS.
The race is on to open up our schools before the 1st June, starting with Nurseries, ( so far confined to the children of key workers) and Years 1 and 6 in Primary Schools. Also from June, the Government web site says secondary schools and further education colleges should prepare for face-to-face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in addition to their “continued remote, home learning”. This differs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, both keeping schools closed for the present.
The proposed move has caused much consternation from teachers unions and parents worried about the security of teachers and the difficulties of maintaining social distancing, particularly with pre-primary and primary aged children. It mustn’t be forgotten that teachers have not been idle in Lockdown, having been very busy indeed either working in schools with key workers and vulnerable children, or developing a huge variety of on line distance learning lessons for every age group, including critical examination groups. It is understood that just as in every stage of easing out of lockdown there is a delicate balance to be struck between the damage done to society and that to the nations health. Jules White, a headteacher writing in the Guardian urges the government to put in further funding for extra cleaners as well as clear direction as to the way forward. With severe cuts to the education budget over the course of this government, schools have been operating with reduced provision in so many areas. Given the particular difficulties they now face, extreme time pressures notwithstanding, it falls on the powers that be to show that they really care about education, rather than play lip service to it. Teachers don’t need to worry however, here is expert advice from a real teacher………….