KEEP SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST AT THE EARLIEST

Keep Schools closed until August at the earliest. This constant speculation is not helping staff, pupils or parents. Certainty would help everyone. Your own paper admits that opening schools could cause a large spike in cases. Repress the virus and schools are breading grounds for infection. Hubs were a bad idea as they have contributed to virus spread.

Why the contribution is important

It gives people certainty as this constant what if is making large groups of society uncertain.

by ScottK on May 05, 2020 at 05:24PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.1
Based on: 115 votes

Comments

  • Posted by AnthonyButterworth May 05, 2020 at 17:30

    Let senior pupils, particularly 6th year who have missed out on exams this year
  • Posted by slf May 05, 2020 at 17:31

    How do you know hubs have spread the virus more than anything else? You can't make statements without any evidence.
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 17:31

    This sounds like a suggestion made by a teacher who quite fancies a really long holiday!
  • Posted by margarett May 05, 2020 at 17:36

    Think schools should stay closed until at least August, depending on the R number and then on a staggered basis. Confirmation of this timescale would at least let people prepare.
  • Posted by sw31877 May 05, 2020 at 17:37

    Agreed. As a parent i know there are currently not sufficient enough measures in place to ensure safety for pupils or staff. As a teacher I’m working in school and remotely and we need planning time to restructure the school environment and have a dialogue with all stakeholders to prepare for a safe albeit changed return to school.
  • Posted by bun107 May 05, 2020 at 17:38

    As a parent of a child with additional support needs who already is attending a special school its really important that the 'transition' back to school life is handled carefully. It would be sensible to take time especially where children like my son need personal care with school so that would make social distancing virtually impossible.
  • Posted by joannaboileau May 05, 2020 at 17:48

    Two unsubstantiated claims here. There is no evidence that schools are "breading" grounds nor that hubs have contributed to virus spread.
  • Posted by Gailp May 05, 2020 at 17:50

    Private schools are using Zoom or Skype to hold classroom sessions over video calling (Microsoft Teams is another option) could this be rolled out to council run schools and then normal taught timetables could be followed as much as possible?
  • Posted by iaminterested May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    Disagree-Schools should resume as soon as possible- 1 or 2 year groups a day would allow some learning and social contact - outdoor learning could also be championed- and online to compliment this Mental health of children is critical Agree uncertainty unhelpful
  • Posted by Davemac1960 May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    Children need education
  • Posted by Tia444 May 05, 2020 at 17:55

    Disagree. A blanket delay is not the answer. A stepped return as per First Minister speech makes more sense.
  • Posted by Aham25 May 05, 2020 at 18:03

    Completely agree....it would be good to say August and stick with august before staff and parents end up with even more mental anxiety than currently experiencing. Only come August should any sort of phasing even be considered. It is far too early to make this decision and expose staff and families.
  • Posted by clindsay May 05, 2020 at 18:10

    I think the benefits of children being able to see their friends, laugh and forget about the worries of home life, is as important. Certain year groups - transition years - need to go through the rite of passage. They may never see the same group of friends again. With careful scheduling, and ensuring pupils are there part time, I think a couple of weeks in June should be considered. Otherwise we are looking at nearly 5 months off
  • Posted by JohnT May 05, 2020 at 18:14

    It is accepted that the earliest dates schools can open is June 1 even if they are released from lockdown this Thursday. It seems pointless to open them then, just to close them again on the 2nd of July, when the term ends. Better to wait until the 19th of August when they are due to open for the 2020-21 term.
  • Posted by Mdunn19 May 05, 2020 at 18:17

    Unfortunately uncertainty is what we are living with just now regardless. I am a teacher and I am very worried about my most vulnerable pupils. The hubs are a well managed resource however I dont think they are serving every young person who needs us. I think that if possible a staggered reopening is the best idea. Having small groups of pupils in at a time and some level of social distancing in place. I teach in a secondary school so I can see how my colleagues in primary and nursery establishments would be concerned about this.
  • Posted by Alexandra5 May 05, 2020 at 18:27

    Children need to see each other, even small groups regularly. School re opening is a minefield. Transport, childcare, social distancing, curriculum. Meantime, a better set up online with online teacher visual interaction rather than one hour email to the whole class.
  • Posted by Concerned May 05, 2020 at 19:02

    Schools need to reopen. Home schooling is not schooling. Being sent a sheet of 10 spelling words, a sheet of maths and possibly asked to write a short story on a lockdown day - and these SUGGESTED activities for ONE whole week of schooling. This is revision, not learning. Where parents are having to work from home they cannot dedicate time to advance learning for their children, those children are being disadvantaged. Schools must open to enable children the chance to catch up. If home schooling has to continue then there MUST be a way to deliver online lessons which engage, actually teach, and are fit for purpose, to stop Scottish children falling further behind in an already failing education system. There have been reports that children are the least likely to catch the virus. Surely those in the upper classes of primary education and secondary educatio would be able to adhere to social distancing. Regular hand washing and wearing some form of face mask could assist with contamination risks. Unless sensible action is taken our children are going to become even more disadvantaged. If sensible responsible plans are put in place proper teaching could resume. Either that or actually deliver a means of distance PROPER education for our young people. The current arrangements cannot continue - surely technology could be utilised to deliver proper, planned, interactive learning in the true sense. Schools must open as soon as possible.
  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 19:18

    "Certainty would help everyone" says the OP. It wouldn't help the many young children I know whose behaviour is steadily deteriorating during lockdown (and would deteriorate much further if forcibly excluded from the education system for half a year). The damage this is causing to our childrens' mental health and wellbeing will echo for years, if not decades.
  • Posted by DDrought May 05, 2020 at 21:17

    It is a delicate balance, and I think should be done in a phased way. Secondary schools should open in a limited way before primaries. Social distancing of 5 year-olds is totally impractical!
  • Posted by Laura89 May 06, 2020 at 01:28

    How would the children ge to the secondary school without being on packed buses?
  • Posted by lindyloo May 06, 2020 at 07:24

    Children need an education. There is scientific evidence that children are low risk when it comes to coronavirus. I would like to see data from schools that are still open for patents who are key workers. As their parents are more at risk of catching coronavirus then has any children caught it. Have the children passed it around themselves or to a teacher. As far as I am aware there have been around 3 deaths that I am aware of in the whole of Britain and at least 2 of them had underlying health issues. Now can I ask a question. Would you send your child to school with chicken pox going around? Do you know that 25 children a year die from complications from chickenpox. Scientific advice differs from country to country too. Sweden haven't shut schools and they haven't had a high number of children affected. In Switzerland scientists say children can hug grandparents. So who is right them or us?
  • Posted by lmjdear May 06, 2020 at 07:58

    NO-Get them open! you leave secondary age kids with nothing to do all summer they will mix anyway! we need to move on. give them masks if you must. kids not scared by them they are seeing them anyway!
  • Posted by IndyScot1000 May 06, 2020 at 11:23

    agree, schools are spreading germs, sharing desks, equipment, none of it cleaned regularly, Local Authorities should be deep cleaning regularly before return and after on regular basis.
  • Posted by LauraJones May 06, 2020 at 12:15

    No no on no no Open them now
  • Posted by Alison5 May 06, 2020 at 12:20

    AGREE! No point sending them back for couple of weeks as an experiment to see if "R" increases. P7 primary kids would be more emotional at being at school, but all the normal end of term and leaving celebrations still being canx. It not worth the risk to the kids (yes they do catch it) or to expose the family to a wider social mix than a chosen social bubble would be. Focus on structured online teaching with zoom lessons until end of term. This would also ensure if a 2nd lockdown was needed there would be workable plans in place. Widen social distancing to include bubbles so kids can interact with chosen few and use the time to plan S1 transition with perhaps an early week start at high school to accommodate this. Also review how bus transport will be safe for high schools returning.
  • Posted by Mysay7 May 06, 2020 at 14:06

    I also think children should be returning to the same year group they were in pre-school closures, not just for the purpose of enabling teachers to identifying gaps and consolidating learning before moving up, but to take account of the trauma this disruption has caused and to allow the time and emotional support to help children transition back to school, their routines, new ‘norms’ around safe practices, etc. After-all, unless feeling safe, secure and emotionally ready, our children won’t be fully receptive to learning anyway. Unless we are confident of a vaccine or minimal risk, I have real concern about schools opening with ‘social distancing’ measures in place. Without this confidence, in my opinion it would not be safe and a ‘safe enough’ arrangement that places responsibility on children (especially nursery and primary aged) and their teachers, is not ok. When schools do return when safe, I think particular consideration needs to be given to children at key transition milestones (starting & leaving primary high school) and there needs to be an enhanced transition put in place to support them. No-one wants their children to be at risk or to pose transmission danger to their household upon return and defeat all the stringent measures you’ve taken as a household to prevent the infection. Realistically, each households capability and or commitment to be as stringent will vary and it just takes one weak link for the chain of prevention to break, making all the sacrifice of ‘lockdown’ to date completely worthless. Let’s instead, find ways to harness what’s working for children in many of their homes (nurture, informal learning, access to learning resources, online link to their teachers and an offering of ‘formal’ classwork). Let’s in the background, take the time to develop ways to facilitate virtual classroom lessons that can then be delivered until it’s safe to go back to school- private schools are doing this and the technology is there. Perhaps just the teachers return to school in the meantime (much more manageable in terms of infection control) which would let children see and keep a sense of connection to both them and their physical class and school environment whilst participating in teacher led virtual classroom activity from the safety of the child’s home. Amidst all the pursuit to return to ‘normal’ let’s remember that for many, being at home instead of at school will be an enriching ‘wider- learning’ experience that will help consolidate and enhance their overall learning and life skills, which will contribute to their achievement when they return to school when it’s safe to. It also affords parents a greater opportunity for real and active participation in their child’s learning. Let’s not discard the very real value in all that. We do however need to remember that not all households will be safe, not all will have resources, will not all have equal capacity and without investment and appropriate support, children in these households will suffer during school closures. We need to find a resolve that meets their needs too. I personally don’t think that the resolve to that is to do as some have proposed and have vulnerable children go to school (and be exposed to the very risk I wouldn’t wish my own children to be exposed to)- that also exposes them as ‘vulnerable’ and imposes stigma. Instead, it would require ensuring access to technology, physical resources, discreet enhanced virtual (possibly multidisciplinary) contact that is really attuned, supportive and tailored to the needs of the children and other family members in that household. Supportive, but respectful safeguarding measures, etc. Let’s translate what works during this lockdown into creating our new ‘normal’ going forward and not rush to go back to the old ‘normal’. At the very least, let’s offer parents and teachers choice about returning to school before there’s a vaccine/ minimal risk rather than taking a decision which makes it compulsory.
  • Posted by Mysay7 May 06, 2020 at 14:12

    Unless we are confident of a vaccine or minimal risk, I have real concern about schools opening with ‘social distancing’ measures in place whether August or even later. Without this confidence, in my opinion it would not be safe and a ‘safe enough’ arrangement that places responsibility on children (especially nursery and primary aged) and their teachers, is not ok. When schools do return when safe, I think particular consideration needs to be given to children at key transition milestones (starting & leaving primary high school) and there needs to be an enhanced transition put in place to support them. I also think children should be returning to the same year group they were in pre-school closures, not just for the purpose of enabling teachers to identifying gaps and consolidating learning before moving up, but to take account of the trauma this disruption has caused and to allow the time and emotional support to help children transition back to school, their routines, new ‘norms’ around safe practices, etc. After-all, unless feeling safe, secure and emotionally ready, our children won’t be fully receptive to learning anyway. No-one wants their children to be at risk or to pose transmission danger to their household upon return and defeat all the stringent measures you’ve taken as a household to prevent the infection. Realistically, each households capability and or commitment to be as stringent will vary and it just takes one weak link for the chain of prevention to break, making all the sacrifice of ‘lockdown’ to date completely worthless. Let’s instead, find ways to harness what’s working for children in many of their homes (nurture, informal learning, access to learning resources, online link to their teachers and an offering of ‘formal’ classwork). Let’s in the background, take the time to develop ways to facilitate virtual classroom lessons that can then be delivered until it’s safe to go back to school- private schools are doing this and the technology is there. Perhaps just the teachers return to school in the meantime (much more manageable in terms of infection control) which would let children see and keep a sense of connection to both them and their physical class and school environment whilst participating in teacher led virtual classroom activity from the safety of the child’s home. Amidst all the pursuit to return to ‘normal’ let’s remember that for many, being at home instead of at school will be an enriching ‘wider- learning’ experience that will help consolidate and enhance their overall learning and life skills, which will contribute to their achievement when they return to school when it’s safe to. It also affords parents a greater opportunity for real and active participation in their child’s learning. Let’s not discard the very real value in all that. We do however need to remember that not all households will be safe, not all will have resources, will not all have equal capacity and without investment and appropriate support, children in these households will suffer during school closures. We need to find a resolve that meets their needs too. I personally don’t think that the resolve to that is to do as some have proposed and have vulnerable children go to school (and be exposed to the very risk I wouldn’t wish my own children to be exposed to)- that also exposes them as ‘vulnerable’ and imposes stigma. Instead, it would require ensuring access to technology, physical resources, discreet enhanced virtual (possibly multidisciplinary) contact that is really attuned, supportive and tailored to the needs of the children and other family members in that household. Supportive, but respectful safeguarding measures, etc. Let’s translate what works during this lockdown into creating our new ‘normal’ going forward and not rush to go back to the old ‘normal’. At the very least, let’s offer parents and teachers choice about returning to school before there’s a vaccine/ minimal risk rather than taking a decision which makes it compulsory.
  • Posted by ashlouise91 May 06, 2020 at 14:49

    I agree this is a delicate balance. You could open to greater categories of key workers but it would get to the point where you are excluding a small minority of pupils from attending. I think, given that we are behind England in terms of the peak and R number, schools (in any “normal” capacity) should stay closed until August. The issue then becomes social distancing. You can’t expect to wear gloves and mask and stay 2m away from others in Tesco for your own protection yet expect a teacher to be in a class with up to 33 pupils. I think it would have to be 1 to 10 or 1 to 12 ratio until we are satisfied that the curve is on the way down and the R has been less than 1 for a significant period of time - measured from the time we reopen schools.
  • Posted by lillega May 06, 2020 at 19:31

    There is a risk associated with opening schools. And there is certainty of damage to pupils' lives and life chances, and to social equality by keeping them closed. This decision concerns a variety of risks we need to balance and deal with - not just to focus on minimising a single headline risk. I doubt our children would thank us for sacrificing their education in twenty years' time because it has become the easy decision (which keeping schools closed for fear of higher case numbers has become) assuming of course they are still able to learn enough to appreciate the impact that extended closure will have had on their life chances. We need to consider how to compensate for the time schools have been closed to help our children, not how to put all pupils back because their schools have been shut, That thinking leads to minimising closures. It's difficult. But necessary if we are to have the successful country we want.
  • Posted by Patience48 May 06, 2020 at 21:10

    Agree should leave schools until after the summer holidays needs a lot of input before they can work out how to proceed with this
  • Posted by Lynnem41 May 06, 2020 at 22:47

    Work towards opening schools in August with well thought through social distancing. Do not rush it. Children are resilient but we need to ensure they and wider society are adequately protected from the virus.
  • Posted by Mummykins May 07, 2020 at 00:43

    Re-open in August if possible. My daughter is going into S6 and already devastated at being labelled as the "class of 2020" who could not sit exams. Just leave it until August please if this is viable.
  • Posted by Abdnshiremum May 07, 2020 at 07:47

    I disagree with keeping schools closed until August. For vulnerable children, for children who are not getting any parental support with home schooling, the risk to this group of not being in school is greater and more lasting than the risk to our communities from Coronavirus. I’m also seeing an increase in kids meeting up anyways - the nine year old next door had his friend over playing football on Tuesday until we called them out on it and we’ve seen groups riding their bikes in the village (we can identify kids in these groups and confirm they are not a household unit, ages P7-S3). Besides making my 11 year old frustrated, surely if kids are mixing anyways then we want them to be doing it in a supervised and educational setting?
  • Posted by ScottK May 07, 2020 at 16:55

    According to the the comment on the 7/5/20 at 0747 we should opens schools because "SOME" children are breaking the social distancing rules anyway. So lets have rooms with 33 children and at least 1 adult working in close proximity to one another when the two "Institutional" settings that are still open (Hospitals and Care Homes) have R numbers above 1. I wonder what the infection rate would be in these schools and the wider communities that they serve within 3/4 weeks. Of course everyone wants the schools open, BUT the key reason why they are shut and should remain shut is Public Safety. To open schools because some people are already flouting the rules is not I would say focused on Public Safety or indeed saving lives. I would imagine "Some" people are still having parties but does that mean everyone should be allowed to have one NO. The vast majority of people are well behaved and this present lockdown is to preserve the lives of everyone and particularly the Old and Vulnerable. Lets not make the school policy dependent on a few Children who are breaking the rules.
  • Posted by Noblec May 08, 2020 at 07:23

    First of all I’m 10 and children are probably the most protected against this virus and will easily adapt to the differences so we should return to school at supposedly end of June
  • Posted by Sandi May 09, 2020 at 10:42

    I honestly can't make up my mind on this one, however, I feel some careful consideration should be given to the new Primary One and First Year pupils. They will already have missed out on some very valuable introduction days over the past number of weeks, and starting a brand new school is daunting enough without having to deal with however school is going to look in August. Perhaps a week just for them at some point......?
  • Posted by FM79 May 09, 2020 at 11:11

    A proper solution needs to be found to educate children at home if homeschooling is going to continue for longer. Parents are not educational teachers (unless they have the qualifications which majority don't). Education is fundamental to the development of children and needs to be delivered in a consistent way to ALL children of school age irrelevant of the age or school attended. The current solution is patchy, inadequate and no substitute for formal education. If children can't physically go back to school a better learning solution needs to be found now as the current solution is not fit for purposes and our children are being failed by the education system. This is not a critisicm of teachers, I am sure that they are trying their best in the current circumstances, however posting work online and expecting children to learn is not education.
  • Posted by GordonM May 09, 2020 at 11:58

    There is no evidence to have closed schools and therefore schools should go back as soon as possible . This is a ridiculous situation where kids are almost completely unaffected and the closure seems driven by teachers not wanting to do their job. Accept that some teachers will be at risk and they may have to be shielded in different roles, but hopefully most teachers are healthy enough to work - sad state of affairs if they all need shielded
  • Posted by LesFraser53 May 09, 2020 at 12:01

    I agree but if R no. shows it possible the traditional summer holiday could be curtailed and schools could start back at the beginning of August. This could mitigate for the loss of June teaching time loss for certificate courses
  • Posted by bstrata May 10, 2020 at 13:04

    So if there is sufficient reduction in the number of cases and deaths and the R number by the end of June I guess we should all just pack up for our summer holidays and kick on into the next school year in August? Poor idea.
  • Posted by AlJones May 11, 2020 at 14:08

    Not all schools are the same. Some are tiny, with no virus in the community, and you could argue going to school would be safer for them (most accidents happen in the home). Some pupils have been given very little help by their school while others are learning online via teacher interaction. Got to be on a school by school basis and with a view go opening ASAP where the risk is low.
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