Another email from school. Another confirmed case. This time sadly a pupil in our son’s year group. The pupil had been in a class with a member of staff who had previously tested positive this week .

The headteacher had sought advice from the authorities but was told that they were unable to help until after 9am on Monday. As its currently impossible to work out which other students may have had close contact with the new positive case it has been decided to go against government advice and keep the whole year group off school until further notice. From Monday all pupils in the year (including Hawklad) will switch to online classes.

This is at the same time as research is now indicating that the fastest rising age group for new infections in the UK is the 10-19 group. This is also at the time that the government is sticking to its line that schools are perfectly safe in the UK and contact tracers have been told not to trace school based infections.

It really is time for the government to act. Yes schools do need to reopen but with appropriate safeguards and changes. The UK has some of the largest class sizes in Europe. Add that to cramped classrooms and it’s asking for trouble. We should have done two things before the schools reopened. Seek to secure additional classroom space by allowing schools to utilise additional accommodation options in the local area. Exactly the same way as the country quickly put in place the recent Nightingale Hospitals. The second key change should have been to give parents a viable online schooling option – if families are able and willing, let them be schooled at home. Together both approaches would have created much needed space in our classrooms. Space means enhanced social distancing, which means a reduced risk of virus spread.

Surely it’s time for an urgent rethink here.

48 thoughts on “Busy lines of communication

  1. This should not be handled like a casual experiment. The government through their inaction or misdirected actions is playing with the health, wellbeing or lives of children and those in contact. Are their decisions supported by science? Hardly. Economic necessity is driving too many decisions. Hope thing work out for your son’s cohort.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the thing it’s driven by the needs of the economy.. Our government has always believed in the Hurd immunity approach. Get this done quicker than other countries then reap the rewards, other people’s deaths and suffering are seen as a price worth paying.

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      1. Here schools in their role of providing child care so parents can both go to work is not given the same risk assessment as other sectors in the economy. While they promised smaller class sizes there are classrooms with upward of 30 students and the extra money promised for taking extra measures in schools is no where to be found. The same with nurses promised for every school – zippo, nada.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So agreed…I am a teacher in the States and we have COVID cases every week but we are still face to face in our school where we have over 1,000 kids in attendance; social distancing is attempted but barely and there are too many kids i each classroom. I am in a classroom of special needs kids and they are not required to wear masks but we are. It’s only a matter of time before one of us gets it because the risk is too great…this is a mess

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  3. I was thankful they had the “cyber academy” for our district, which is the choice to do schooling at home for the year with school-provided materials for the self-driven learners. I don’t have those kind of kids, but I was happy it was an option for those that are in your shoes. I think Hawklad would totally succeed. Mine are getting ready to go back to the actual school. Who knows for how long as I feel they will be sent home before Christmas for the same reason. I am glad Hawklad was safe at home and maybe now he will get more direction and feedback from his teachers!

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  4. Sorry you and your son are going through this. It is a confusing and challenging time. I teach a class in the mornings which is a hybrid class with some remote learners and some in class. But we are ready if we need to go 100% remote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jiminey Cricket on a Motorscooter!!🙄🤦🏼‍♀️ Sometimes I wonder which of our governments is actually worse?

    At least Hawklad will have the educational support, but his anxiety is probably going to get worse.

    Big Hugs!! Hang in there Gary!💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Scenarios like this just never should have had to happen. So many bad decisions from the top leaving teachers, staff, students, and parents exposed. 😥 The good news is that you were already doing the right thing. Now everyone else will be allowed to follow your lead!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Which is what’s happening in most parts of Canada. The Toronto School Board is allowing parents to switch their kids from in-class to virtual or vice versa at certain times, every few months. They just had their first allowed switch, and something like 7800 students switched from in-class to virtual, while something like 3000 switched in the other direction. That causes a lot of headaches for the schools, rejigging classrooms and reassigning teachers, but it gives the parents and students a comfort level that if they’re not sure how this is going to work for them, they aren’t committed for the full school year.

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  7. Sorry Superdad. Wish things weren’t so challenging for both you and Hawklad. Wish your government could have thought things through logically to begin with. I wish a lot of things, but I can’t make those wishes come true. We’ll just have to hold onto hope and keep dreaming for better days. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I need work on the dreaming part… hope is sort of my business. It’s a bit of a career. 🐱‍🏍Stunt cat? Hmm… Probably not the line of work for me. Maybe you’d like a go at stunt work? Hmmm… maybe not. Yeah,… probably not a good line of work for you. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know about that. The world could use some unusually shaped bread. Why does bread have to be shaped like bread anyways? Why can’t we take bread to a whole new level? Forget whole grain… a whole new level sounds much more appealing.

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  8. I am totally surprised that an advanced country like UK is so behind in all pandemic related problems. Here in Pakistan, my grandson is going to school two days a week with strict mask wearing instructions. They all have the option of online classes at home as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My neighbor continues to insist, “kids don’t get it!” No! Kids rarely die from it. They still get and transmit it. He has 2 extended family members at high risk… I don’t understand his attitude. Well, I do .. he hates being locked down with his immediate family. But still!!

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