Children need to return to school as soon as possible

Children need to return to school as soon as possible to prevent the attainment gap widening further, to improve their mental health and to provide a safe and stable environment for them to attend. Many children do not have the technology or support to learn at home and are falling behind all the time. It is well documented how much reading levels can fall over the summer holidays - this extended time could leave children a full year behind. Mental health for children at home is suffering terribly and no amount of “technologies” can make up from being with their peers. Teachers need to be equipped with PPE and schools need to be cleaned thoroughly along with constantly reminding them of hand washing.

Why the contribution is important

Mental health, learning and community Schools need to be open for business to start up again. Do we really think that having shops open is more important than educating our children !

by Clare on May 05, 2020 at 10:45PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.2
Based on: 93 votes


  • Posted by murrayme8 May 05, 2020 at 23:04

    Children need school but need to be safe and I do t feel it’s safe enough just now it’s coming to summer holidays so maybe think of a way for resuming school in august kids need to be safe
  • Posted by MTL May 05, 2020 at 23:05

    Concerned about lack of social contact for children. Concerned that home environment is not conducive to learning and may be unsafe.
  • Posted by Smillie May 05, 2020 at 23:20

    I fully agree with Claire, schools need to be open, children and teenagers are not prone to the virus, schools could open and allow learning to re start. The worry is you will have a whole generation that do not succeed because their education has been so severely disrupted. There has to be a way to make this work we are not a third world country
  • Posted by lm May 05, 2020 at 23:25

    Returning to school before it's safe to do so shouldn't be an option, or it defeats the purpose of closing them in the first place. Do agree that catching up with curriculum and closing the attainment gap will be a challenge, but lives are at risk if they go back too soon and providing PPE to staff, doesn't protect the pupils. Very challenging times
  • Posted by AllanPettie May 05, 2020 at 23:25

    Logistically, expecting some teenagers to take seriously what's asked for them will be very challenging. Need to consider the effect the lockdown has already had on them and cannot seriously expect business as usual when they return. The attainment gap is the least of the concerns in managing any move to a new normal.
  • Posted by ColinAnderson May 05, 2020 at 23:25

    Providing face masks for teachers and all pupils in addition to hand gels and other enhanced cleaning/hygiene measures should be considered to allow full school rolls to get back and reduce or remove the necessity for 2m distancing.
  • Posted by Shopaholic99 May 05, 2020 at 23:45

    My children are thriving on home schooling. We have an excellent school and teachers that send adequate work and offers support. They miss their friends but are having fun with technology and finding new ways to connect with their friends. Schools shouldn’t open until it safe to do so and perhaps on a part time basis with home schooling continuing. I think we need to be more open minded and accept that our work life balance is changing and perhaps for the better.
  • Posted by Primo May 06, 2020 at 00:09

    What about the health of children and their siblings/parents/relations who could catch covid because of a too early return to school when the virus is still so virulent? What about the health of teachers ? There is a reason health professionals and teachers' unions have been writing to the government asking them to listen to the warnings about increasing the spread of the virus and failing to prevent a larger number of deaths. I would love my children to be able to return to school but now is not the time for the vast majority, learning will happen and is happening to a degree, this is an unprecedented situation and calls for measures to protect children, families and waiting until the time is right for children to return to school is a key part of this.
  • Posted by MelLT May 06, 2020 at 00:23

    Learning in school is important but it must be ensured that it is safe. Social distancing is much harder for younger children so a different approach should be considered for those in early primary years compared to those in secondar schools. Mental health may be at risk if children stay home for a long time but sending children to school when there is still a high risk of them getting ill is a risk to physical health, even a risk to life. I may be over cautious about sending my children back to school, but my son is in a high risk category due to a medical condition, but not in the shielding category. I feel that he would be more vulnerable than others. My children are happy at home and learning a lot. Their school is doing a great job at providing online learning at home, including interaction with classmates and teachers, and even other people in the school. I am in no hurry to send them back to school unless it is really safe to do so. Ensuring that all schools provide quality online learning is important, providing a guideline perhaps as there seems to be large differences between schools.
  • Posted by russellp May 06, 2020 at 01:23

    A further 8 weeks of home schooling will cause increasing stress in families where only one parent is at home but also working. This applies if the other parent is a key worker or it is a single parent family. The effect on an only child of the separation from school and friends, already endured for 6 weeks, is severe both socially and emotionally.
  • Posted by Kimtewnion May 06, 2020 at 01:24

    All the evidence suggests children are at little risk of contracting and passing on covid-19. As much as families are being supported by teachers, the learning that is going on at home is nothing compared to time in class with a professional teacher and peers. I can see my older children (already struggling in the Scottish education system) slipping back days and weeks as they struggle to understand concepts from just a power point emailed from teacher, and no access to learning support professionals they would see in normal school week. Despite my doing a 15 hour day and giving up work to support the education of my four children, we cannot keep up the pace that a normal school week would provide. The schools need to go back as soon as possible. People saying'oh its just a couple of weeks until school hols' have no idea how much the education of some children will have slipped by August if this happens. Possibly unrecoverable learning time.
  • Posted by margarett May 06, 2020 at 01:53

    Children do need school but now is not the time, also school staff would need time to plan.
  • Posted by flocor01 May 06, 2020 at 06:38

    No reason why Island schools shouldn’t return - children need social interaction as soon as possible - this is doing them no favours at all
  • Posted by lindyloo May 06, 2020 at 07:10

    Children need to go back to school. There is evidence that they are far less risk than adults. Does anyone have data about children that are still in school as their parents are key workers. How many of them have caught coronavirus? How many of them have passed it to the teachers? Parents send their kids to school when chickenpox is doing the rounds. Do you know that 25 kids a year die from complications from chickenpox. But we still send our kids to school with it going about. Our children are paying for this lockdown mentally just now by missing school and their friends and they unfortunately will be paying for this financially for their whole working lives in taxes as this is also costing the economy billions a day.
  • Posted by Salouhel May 06, 2020 at 07:30

    Those making the transition from P7 to high school should be allowed back before summer as this must be causing a lot of anxiety for them. As for the rest of primary school I don’t think half days are practical if parents are also back at work without then causing the need for childcare, often provided by grandparents. Alternate days might be better. Probably best for the youngest children to go back last as they will find social distancing very difficult and need to be collected by a parent (or often a grandparent...) which results is a large number of adults gathering at pick up time
  • Posted by lmjdear May 06, 2020 at 07:37

    school to reopen asap. if parents don't want to send them then let them. Some of us think the benefits to all outweigh the risks
  • Posted by Samof3 May 06, 2020 at 07:41

    I don’t agree. Schools should open after summer. Give schools time to adapt and make schools safe .
  • Posted by K0612 May 06, 2020 at 07:56

    I desperately want to get schools open. Both parents working full time from with a 5 year old who needs taught and a two year old, but really think they should wait until August. We have second worst death rate in the world!
  • Posted by Mandyintdesign May 06, 2020 at 07:59

    The attainment gap is increasing and will continue to increase. This will affect outcomes for the next 5 years at least. Put all pupils back a year and overhaul the education system so that pupils start school at 6. This is the only way to prevent the long term damage this will do educationally.
  • Posted by Groovydunc May 06, 2020 at 08:26

    Disagree! Children and staff should only return to school when it is safe to do so. This should not be a rushed process! Social distancing will be extremely difficult in schools too!
  • Posted by AMKLJLLivingston May 06, 2020 at 08:27

    I don't think children should go back to school ASAP, children should go back when it's safe for them to do so. Parents need to be reassured that the schools have put in place safety measures for the children and teachers and we need to see those plans and measures beforehand.
  • Posted by cus1903 May 06, 2020 at 08:33

    this will cover 2 groups those that stay home anyway and are not affected to the degree of those that cannot work and need money to survive so need kids back at school. Children are now being affected mentally either way missing friends and social contact. we have a nationwide problem of bullying and kids who were struggling to cope before will become agitated at going back the longer this goes on the hard this will be. Kids need to go back for them to resume a normal relationship module.
  • Posted by Sickandtired May 06, 2020 at 08:47

    My house is filled with a much different atmosphere with having my children at home. Maybe need to ask yourself if the schools need to be rushed back for your own benefit or the childrens. My 6 year old is laughing more, we are having fun doing some school work, baking, playing, exercising. I'm not saying it is all sunshine and rainbows but I'm in no rush and I don't understand why anyone would be? This new way of life is giving us all an opportunity to be closer and in a less stressed environment. Mental health can also be helped at home. Mindfulness, writing down feelings and having fun are all good for mental health. Face timing family and friends can also help. This is a short space of time in a huge path of their schooling and they are all in the same boat. Every single child in this country. They will still excell, they will still get jobs, they will still be outstanding at all they do in later life. Their safety, their grandparents safety, parents safety should all be at the top of the priority list. School is an environment for super spreading. Look at norovirus. At least that doesn't kill people. COVID-19 kills people. I think life needs to start with the bubble of close family, as their mental health matters also. My grandparents are missing my kids terribly that it is upsetting and it breaks my heart. I would not be able to bring my children round there if school was back in case they passed on COVID to them. We are already all on borrowed time, no point bringing it sooner because you are scared of the academic loss.
  • Posted by Kit100 May 06, 2020 at 08:56

    I'm concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of young children who have to return to a school that looks and feels very different. They are already anxious about the virus. Now they will be going back to a school that is trying to accommodate social distancing.
  • Posted by Loulou77 May 06, 2020 at 09:10

    Personally, I believe schools should not open until August at the earliest. Starting back before this time would be detrimental to the spread of the virus. My daughters school have been excellent with keeping in touch and setting realistic challenges. To be honest, at this time of year normally there isn’t really much school work done and this time is used for trips/concerts etc. I don’t feel the majority of pupils will be missing out on too much apart from the social benefits. Children are resilient and with support from parents/carers and teachers they should be able to overcome this.
  • Posted by LauraJones May 06, 2020 at 11:54

  • Posted by davidearly May 06, 2020 at 13:51

    No. Children need to be protected just like everyone else and their impact on the spread of the virus fully considered. School staff, including teachers are also all affected by Covid-19 and have families they take home all types of infectious disease to. The health and wellbeing of everyone supersedes any urgent desire to get kids back in classrooms. Many of us are capable of home-schooling our own children and where not, needs should be addressed but this does not mean bundling kids into classrooms just to provide 'childcare' for the workforce.
  • Posted by DougO May 06, 2020 at 14:23

    There are so many threads for and against re-opening schools. For every child that is struggling someone has a child that is flourishing. In my current situation I have a p2, p1 and nursery age child. At first my p1 was flourishing, now they are withdrawing and filled with anxiety. My p2 child struggles massively with change and has not taken well to the situation. All credit to their school who informed them well about the need for hygiene and the risks of Covid. My wife and I are able to work from home for now but that is not feasible long term. Schools need to re-open in some form sooner rather than later or we will see a bow wave of mental health issues that will overwhelm the NHS, probably in time for the second peak.
  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 06, 2020 at 15:57

    Every parent I know says their children are suffering mentally and emotionally in the absence of nursery and primary school. Closure til August would benefit teachers more than anyone, and the needs of pupils should come first. Plus, we can't restart the economy without pre-school and state education being at least partially operational. Even if the August-or-nothing brigade won't admit it, we cannot afford to wait another three months to provide working families with education services. There are dozens of ways to reduce transmission, especially in smaller institutions, and private nurseries in particular are desperate to reopen.
  • Posted by Abdnshiremum May 07, 2020 at 07:43

    Open schools as soon as we can (ie start of June)! Not sure there’s evidence that teachers need PPE though, let’s be sensible about things. We will need of course to allow teachers who might be vulnerable to stay at home at first (if they are currently staying home, risks at school probably are not too different to grocery shopping) and maybe this will mean kids need to return part time etc.
  • Posted by NorthernLight May 07, 2020 at 08:10

    It’s too early to open school now. We do not understand the disease enough and the infection rate is still too high. Children are affected but more importantly they can transmit it to others. Children aren’t in isolated bubbles, they have families and belong to communities. Social distancing is impossible with younger children, it could be more damaging to their mental health to send them into a stressful environment than to be with their parents at home. This comes from a parent of two who works full-time.
  • Posted by NorthernLight May 07, 2020 at 08:19

    It’s too early to open schools now. We do not understand the disease enough and the infection rate is still too high. It’s untrue to say Children aren't affected, children have died and others are displaying autoimmune reactions such as Kawasaki Syndrome. And importantly they can transmit the virus to others. Children aren’t in isolated bubbles, they have families and live in communities. Social distancing is impossible with younger children. It could be more damaging to their mental health to send them into a stressful environment than to be with their parents at home. This comes from a parent of two who works full-time. The need to return children to school appears to be more financial so maybe more help for the parents that are unable to work from home.
  • Posted by CTT May 07, 2020 at 12:55

    Could we allow households with 2 parent working from home, but 1 of them is a keyworker, to have some school provision? This is the case in England. In our house, we are both involved in Covid response (one in public sector, other for a major employer) but only one of us is a designated keyworker. So our primary school child is pretty much left on her own much of the week. Even 1 or 2 days of interaction with other children would really help her health and wellbeing - and our productivity. When schools do reopen, I would be fine with our children attending say 2 days a week and homeschooling, with set tasks the rest of the week. vulnerable children should be given priority though for more schooling, if that is available.
  • Posted by Hamiltoes May 10, 2020 at 23:24

    It’s not just about their education, it’s about their mental health. Where is the science that this virus is easily spread by children? I would like to see some solid research that closing schools, playparks, and limiting outside access was the correct decision and I’d like to see a plan in place for how they will open as soon as possible. Many children live in flats with no access to a garden. It is unacceptable that they are only allowed out once a day for exercise. Many children are missing out on their right to an education and the opportunity to socialise with their peers - a critical activity for healthy development. With many parents still working, or working from home, home education is often difficult and sometimes unworkable. I would like to see more research into the effect this is having on children’s mental health. In my experience, my five year old seems to have regressed back to the toddler years. Tantrums, anger, tears, phobias. This has gradually gotten worse as the weeks have dragged on. I cannot go to the toilet alone. She is refusing to visit her dad. Can’t bear to be parted from me. I am genuinely beginning to question if the cost these children are paying is proportional to the risk they face.
  • Posted by StayAtHomeSaveLives May 11, 2020 at 05:49

    I was off school for months as a kid. Did me no harm at all - now have an undergrad & a postgrad. Lots to learn from the world that does not involve schools. No need to clamour about education being missed, as it's only a matter of a few months. More important to save lives.
  • Posted by Stargazer1960 May 11, 2020 at 15:19

    I agree children should return to school, but not as soon as possible, but as soon as feasible. Perhaps school should be radically changed anyway, e.g. the Finnish Model. Less time in school and more time outside school focused on hobbies, physical activity, interests and community. We could consider increasing use of community TV (how many homes do not have a TV?) to provide 'teaching sessions' for infant/Primary school age children could encourage read along sessions, encourage writing (competitions for best story/poem/artwork, do arithmetic, set science projects that can be done at home or during outdoor exercise sessions, teach simple cooking. I have always believed that a good community TV service could provide a host of excellent teaching facilities. Most of the art I learned was from TV. There was also the excellent programme How? which developed my interest in general knowledge and science. Secondary school children could attend for shorter times to enable greater social distancing, with a greater focus on on-line learning tools to reinforce learning . This would need to be supported by ensuring provision of internet facilities and some form of digitial hardware.
  • Posted by Hep2020 May 11, 2020 at 18:50

    Having read the NRS weekly updates and other articles which suggest that children and young adults are in the most in the low risk category, would it be possible for a phased return of different years ? Even if it was possible for a 1-2 day week and a shortening of the long summer holidays to allow children and teenagers to catch up with the work missed.
  • Posted by ReillyBlue May 11, 2020 at 20:59

    Return pupils when safe to do so. Start with S4-S6 as these are the most important times fir them. Social distancing could be managed and monitored and then introduce P7 transitioning to S1 in August. The schools are not big enough to have social distancing so in August introduce a rota with children from different years going in different days
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