****** this post may descend into shouting at the government *******
Apparently I am many things
- A bad parent,
- Have no morals,
- Life chance basher,
- Union supporter,
- Left wing troublemaker,
- Part of the problem.
These are all terms which the government and its chosen media friends have labelled those who have raised doubts over the decision to fully reopen schools. At those parents and teachers who are not yet convinced that schools are as safe as they should be. It’s no surprise as Boris has a mantra – you are with me or against us. Well I’d rather be against you…..
So if the likes of me are going to be demonised well I might as well set out a few facts for Boris. I’m sure he is a facts man.
- Actually I want schools to open. But I want our schools to be safe for children and adults. I also want them to be modern, inclusive and true sites of learning. Sadly run down cramped classrooms operating under Victorian principles are just not good enough.
- Repeating ‘they are safe’ over and over again without backing that up with actions isn’t going to win me over. Remember this is the government that said it had thrown a protective wall around care homes – lies – tens of thousands died as a result.
- No real change has taken place in schools. A few more hand washing facilities. Some one way markings. Giant group bubbles. Masks on school buses, sometimes in corridors but not in classrooms. To Boris why make meaningful change when it’s much easier and cheaper to demonise teachers and parents for any failings.
- ‘They are safe’ would imply that a deal has been done with the virus so that it won’t venture into school buildings….. Children can get it. Children can pass it on. Adults can get it.
- By bringing in giant year group bubbles schools are said to be perfectly safe. What about the adults in the system. Teachers, support staff, parents, grandparents.
- How does the ‘they are safe’ phrase work for pupils and adults with underlying health conditions.
- How long does it take a government to bring in an effective testing and tracing system. In March we were told we had a world class one. April we were promised a world class one by June. In June we were told it wasn’t a priority anymore. In August they can’t decide if we need one or not.
- It’s ok showing glossy pictures of modern classrooms with a handful of pupils studying in socially distanced bliss BUT the reality is that too many children are crammed in crumbling classes with at least 30 other classmates and teachers – social distancing is impossible for them.
- Issuing pandemic guidance to schools on a Friday before many schools open again 3 days later is beyond shambolic.
- Young people gathering outside a school in groups of 30 are liable to be fined £10000 for breaking social distancing rules yet put them in a class and suddenly it’s completely safe.
- Parents considering the safety of their children are not the threat to life chances. The threat to life chances is a government that intentionally messed up the exam grading process for thousands of pupils this August – many have lost university places as a result. It’s a government that is hell bent on taking education back to the 19th century. It’s a government that intentionally discriminates against children with learning disabilities. It’s a government that sees kids taking time off for bereavement as an extended holiday.
- So parents will be fined for not sending their kids into school even if they think it’s not safe. Yet Boris fully backed his Chief Advisor when he broke lockdown rules. He apparently was doing what any caring parent would do. So a caring parent would drive 200 miles as a family to their grandparents country estate hours after testing positive. Stopping off for petrol on the way. Then a couple of days later drive 30 miles on your wife’s birthday to a tourist location. Apparently this was to test the advisor’s damaged eyesight and to see if he was fit to drive – with their poor toddler sat in the back seat. It’s not even double standards.
In short the real enemy to our children is not parents. It’s not teachers. It’s not even a virus. It’s the Government.