That’s as clear as it’s been so far today. The mist lifted for a few minutes but far too quickly returned.

In the UK the Government’s handling of the pandemic has been an absolute shambles and that’s putting it mildly. Sometimes following the science, sometimes following politics, sometimes it’s all about common sense, sometimes it’s about enforcing rules but then not applying those rules to themselves. Telling people a national lockdown would be an unnecessary madness then days later enforcing one. Banning many safe activities but allowing other much riskier things to continue. Dithering on things like masks, testing and social distancing. Culminating in telling the public to go out and mix as it’s our civic duty to get the economy going THEN weeks later blaming people for meeting up and causing the virus to spread again.

It’s just a complete mess. So how tough must it be for schools to operate in these circumstances. All major social gatherings are banned but schools are instructed to stay open. My beef here is not with headteachers but with those above them….

We received an email from our school yesterday trying to set out the current rules. To summarise

  • Even though the country has entered a national lockdown the School remains open but large numbers of pupils and staff are isolating. The school has a number of confirmed cases. Pupils and staff are struggling to get tests undertaken.
  • Pupils must attend school unless they have written confirmation from a Doctor that they are not medically cleared. Even if a pupil is clinically vulnerable they must attend unless a doctor has signed them off.
  • If the pupil lives in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable then the government line is that the pupil should still attend school.
  • If a pupil develops symptoms then the school recommends that the pupil isolates until a test is undertaken however this cannot be enforced due to Government rules.
  • If a pupil is legitimately unable to attend then they must use the online teaching systems. They must stick to school timetabling or punishments will be issued.
  • Masks should be worn on school buses, while walking in school corridors, visits to the toilet and while queuing for school meals. These will be enforced.
  • Masks can be worn outside school buildings and at times during classroom time but not when answering teacher questions or during group work. The wearing of masks in class cannot be enforced due to Government instructions.
  • Pupils are encouraged to observe 2m (6ft) social distancing outside of the classroom. Space does not permit that in classroom settings. The school is not currently allowed to install additional screening in the classrooms.
  • Pupils must not mix with pupils outside of their designated year group during the school day. That includes family members and close friends.
  • The school is still not permitted by the Government to make more general use of online tuition to free up space within the school.
  • During winter it will be necessary to keep many windows open for improved ventilation. Teachers have the discretion to allow pupils to wear coats if the classroom temperature drops. The wearing of hoodies or non school uniform is not permitted.
  • All out of school activities have had to be suspended due to Government instructions.
  • Due to the number of staff absences it is likely that a growing number of lessons will be taught by teachers who are not the normal class assigned one.

How stressful is this for children, staff and parents. Its such a mess which according to the Government is a bastion of best practice. We are told schools are perfectly safe, feature the highest standards of care and that it’s a parents civic duty to send their children into school……..

OK so here we start another week of homeschooling.

54 thoughts on “School

  1. Their approach just makes no sense at all. It must be horrible for the teachers, the support staff, the parents and the students. Mental health has got to be affected too.

    BoJo and Trump really messed up handling this pandemic.

    And too many people are just idjits!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I found out t’other day that one of the team leaders at work has had the virus. Describing it as really shit, but that there she is survived and seemingly strong. I also know of a shop keeper who has died. This is war. The enemy is teeny tiny and huge. I’m thinking of those poor boys who sat in trenches all those years ago, not knowing if the gas would get them. Maybe we will all get a bit of a dose of PTSD from all this, so we really do need to keep hold of our kindness. Not just hold it’s hand and walk with it, but hold it close to our hearts for ourselves are also in need of it. 💔 I know, I know, me too and that is why I’m being lazy, forgiving my lazy, as I watch a bit of crap TV and therefore looking after my mental health.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sadly not everyone is looking out for others. Therefore, (and even though it sounds bad) I’m all for looking after number one first in situations where someone else might be a “See you next Tuesday”. Keep the mask on, keep the shield on, do all the distancing as best you can, clean hands on a regular and strip off on entering the house to get straight into the bath. Yes I will do the sideways shuffle in a shop, but when necessary I’ve said “Back off please and keep the 2meter distance”. The old woman said “Then I’ll just go into the other queue then”. I do need to keep bouncing back from such things, for I need food shopping like the next person does.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In other words, it’s a total free for all. There’s another term I can think of involving a cluster of an Anglo-saxon word, but that would not be polite. In a way it’s as well your lad is at home as I can’t imagine trying to cope with actually having to show up at school. Ye Gods!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The rules just don’t make sense. I have opted to send mine back on a staggered schedule but at any time they do not want to go into the actual school they can stay home and sign into zoom for the classes. They have a choice. I can’t see how forcing kids in will help anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The doors of the high school my son attended were locked with the students inside after the bell rang for homeroom to keep out predators. Never considering that the students would be trapped inside with no way out should a fire break out in the building. And those teachers and administrators had college educations yet were dumber than a rock. I see that it is much worse today! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading this makes my heart break. How can a government be so incredibly dense and so uncaring about the population? And especially where children are concerned? Absolute and utter madness!
    Overcrowded classrooms have been the usual for so long now.

    I am so glad Hawklad is not returning! And the horrible amount of stress on parents too! God help us all!

    Liked by 1 person

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