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DAD.info | Opinion | Keeping Schools Open

Keeping Schools Open

A New National Lockdown. It seemed inevitable as city after town after village were moved into Tier 3. It still came as a shock though on Saturday and my thoughts turned back to practicalities- haircuts, waterproof shoes for me and the kids and the big one, schools.

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School, or the lack of them was the toughest aspect last time. Working on the kitchen table, with my five year old ‘working’ next to me, my partner perched on the edge of the dressing table balancing their laptop. My two-year-old, a constant presence. There is no way of completely toddler proofing my house. When school reopened in September if Covid rules hadn’t applied I would have given my childminder and my daughter’s class teacher a huge hug.

Gratitude

One half-term of normal hasn’t cancelled out my gratitude and my hopes that it will be possible to keep education open. Twitter is on fire with calls to #CloseSchoolsNOW with understandable concerns that not closing them will extend the lockdown, risk school staff’s health and of course this is a worry we share at Dad.info. We are published by Fegans, a fantastic children’s counselling charity, who work with hundreds of school-age children in crisis every week. We also run two pre-schools. Everything we do, we do for vulnerable families and children.

However, alongside the children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, the Head Teachers union and both main political parties, Fegans are firmly in favour of keeping schools open. Ian Soars, CEO of Dad.info and Fegans comments, “many Fegans staff have suffered personally through Covid-19. We have lost family and friends. It is a terrible disease with profound consequences for many of us. We are in awe of the teachers and school workers who are courageously and sacrificially providing a haven for so many vulnerable children. I have called before for a ‘National Education Service’ to be placed on the same emotional footing as the NHS”. Fegans’ experience in the last lockdown was that school closures were damaging for the most vulnerable amongst us.

Support for our vulnerable children

Ian, remains clear, “loss of school contact with friends and a stable environment has set millions of children way back in their emotional well being and development. Many simply will not recover. The science is still unclear what part children play in the transmission of Covid-19 but it is very clear about the damage to vulnerable children of schools closing. All 2.2 Million of them.”.

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If your young people are returning to school today, I hope they have a great first day back and remember to take a moment and send an email or a quick note with thanks to the amazing school staff who are making this possible.

If your child is Year 7 or above, and they are struggling you might want to use our online counselling support: LEARN MORE

For ideas to help manage your children’s anxiety – READ ON …

Here is a round up of support we have offered to parents during Covid-19 – READ ON…

 

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