Return to school what’s the keyworker children hubs evidence?

What are rates of infection among children of keyworkers that are attending School hubs? I’d assume they may be at increased risk of contracting the virus from keyworker parents and transmitting it on. I have not heard any cases of this happening thus far. They are of course less likely to be impacted as severely with this condition. If so could the conclusion not be drawn that returning children to some element of schooling is feasible with appropriate social distancing measures. Shielding the highest risk and promoting healthy work practices to facilitate school pick up and drop off may reduce the risk to grandparents being asked to support with childcare. There may be limited travel permitted in July, should the Scottish schools break early and return early?

Why the contribution is important

The pressures of home schooling, working and parenting (as a single parent or couple) is extremely challenging. With possible safe reopening of businesses how are parents meant to balance this much needed economic hope with the practical implications of who can safely look after and school children.

by SarahGreig on May 06, 2020 at 10:13PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.7
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by AngelaMc May 06, 2020 at 23:08

    People working in ASN Schools cannot maintain social distancing. The nature of the work requires close physical support in terms of personal care and behavioural support. No one knows how infectious children can be yet. Many pupils in ASN schools are vulnerable in different ways. Some have very compromised health themselves. There is not a simple fix to this. Staff in these establishments also have responsibilities and challenges. The health and longevity of ASN staff cannot be guaranteed without social distancing. We will demand PPE and the same standards of protection as care homes. We will need infection control training. Many of us are also parents of children and young people with disabilities- that’s often what draws us unto this particular area of education. We also have challenges: the challenge of staying alive to look after our own disabled children. I am using emotive language because this is a deeply emotive subject. Do not sacrifice our lives for the sake of the economy. As some people tweeted today- scrap Trident and we will able to fund ourselves until the vaccine is available.
  • Posted by BUTEMACS May 06, 2020 at 23:10

    I'm sure the pressure of working on the front line is more challenging, it might be time to go back to basics & unless your a single parent to you look after our own children & make sacrifices, some people might need to stop working to have fancy houses,cars ,holidays abroad.
  • Posted by Mac73 May 06, 2020 at 23:25

    Dont think kids should return until its 100% safe. Safe for them safe fae teachers and community that surrounds it. We want kids to back without fear, known they can play with friends, were all can sit on carpet with teacher fae story time. Made start them back in Aug spend like 16days take the weekend etc then when actually date for return in Aug? They all move up to knew teacher ones at high school get to say farewell. I will not be returning mine until this is 100% safe nd ppl stop dying. It's been tough home school but we are doing it and talk everyday to there teachers through glow and can still speak to friends/classmates. So please do it slowly and right, cause what we dont want is a second hit. Mac in fife
  • Posted by LauraCowan May 06, 2020 at 23:47

    Children with underlying health issues or vulnerable disabled children should not return to school before August. Provision for home schooling by home visiting teachers/support staff should be considered by August for the most at risk children & their siblings. The families of these children should be financially supported in their caring role with funding for testing for the children, parents, siblings, and key workers supporting the family. PPE should be given to families and carers/educators assisting them.
  • Posted by LauraCowan May 06, 2020 at 23:56

    People have proven that home working can in many cases allow parents to continue to work and support their families. Whilst children are phased back to schools in ways that protect theirs and their families health, home working must where possible stay the priority for them. Employers must be encouraged not to put pressure on staff to return to office based work when it is not necessary, and can be mitigated for. All efforts to install necessary IT resources for home working must be evidenced by companies. I know of government agencies where this is not happening at present. That's not acceptable going forwards.
  • Posted by LauraCowan May 07, 2020 at 00:07

    Flexible work practices must be offered to staff to allow staggered drop offs & collections at schools. This would reduce numbers of children arriving at any given time, to allow issue of face masks to children, keep social distances on entering buildings, most crowds occur on arrival & departure & lunchtimes in schools. Lunches should be staggered, children should be encouraged to bring packed lunches, rigorous hand hygiene should be in place for eating and drinking. Cleaning services in schools should be increased, and stronger disinfectants adopted as COSHH & allergy prevention have caused dilution of cleaning products in recent years.
  • Posted by beatebennek May 07, 2020 at 00:15

    People will have to go to school, if people go back to work.
  • Posted by Lucy1980 May 07, 2020 at 00:43

    Children are said to be less likely to be severely impacted but school staff from janitors, kitchen staff, admin team, medical room staff, classroom assistants etc have to be around children in small classrooms for a prolonged period of time, and as we know, adults can get this severely. Adults in school could have it and not know, just as children in school could have it and not know. They are spending all day with each other in a classroom and then going back home, out to the shops, visiting elderly relatives etc. Everyone understands the important of getting back to school as soon as possible but not at the cost of lives. A lot of school staff also have underlying health conditions so it would need to be looked at what percentage this is in total across Scotland. Some schools could just happen to have for example 80% of their staff with an underlying condition and therefore would not be able to open with a safe ratio of staff to children. It is clear that schools will not return to ‘normal’ in August 2020 because class sizes in Scotland go up to 33 children. In the average classroom that I know of, you could socially distance around 8 children in a class if you spread them out (plus the teacher and if the class had a classroom assistant or ASN) or removed all the desks. Children will likely return to school on a part time basis. I assume one or two days a week for each child, weekly rotations, or perhaps morning and afternoon sessions. Children who can remain at home with someone working from home will likely have to do so initially. There is no way every child can return to a school building all at once and have any chance of socially distancing to keep themselves and adults safe. I don’t say the word ‘impossible’ lightly, but this would indeed be impossible. Then schools have to think about playtime, lunchtime, PE lessons, young children who can’t possibly understand social distancing and just want to run around and play tig, hug their friends etc. If every other office building, factory, shop etc in the country is socially distancing, schools must also adhere to this. Unfortunately that is going to take a huge amount of planning and guidance from the government over the next few months to make sure we get it right for children and school staff during this worrying time.
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 07, 2020 at 05:53

    This is a very important point you make. Please look at the rates of infection within those schools/facilities that have remained open for key workers children. From what I have heard from friends and family working in these there have been no cases reported within these settings.
  • Posted by Sarahj May 07, 2020 at 06:40

    Keyworker hubs have a limited amount of children so are able to socially distance. Due to low numbers they are also able to “spread out” the children in different areas to minimise them coming into close contact with other children and staff. Staff are also able to then stay two meters apart. Cleaning and PPE are also easily managed due to buildings that can hold 80 plus children only having 8 or so. The issue in reopening is that the children and staff will no longer be able to be spread so far apart. Dealing with children at home is difficult, but the risks to childcare staff who may not have access to PPE or be able to socially distance needs to be thought about. Opening childcare and schools is not just about getting children away from parents who need to work..... childcare staff are worried about the lack of care or interest in their safety as well as how they will “choose” which children can come back. Are children going to be able to cope with staff in facemasks? Will there be enough PPE available?! Re settling in young children could take weeks as it is, and thats not taking into consideration is enough of the childcare workforce even ready or able to be back at work (they may be sheilding, have vulnerable family at home, be isolating due to sickness or have their own childcare issues)
  • Posted by Kfinlay May 07, 2020 at 07:09

    Opening schools without going into to classrooms and assessing whether they meet needs of social distancing or not being deep cleaned is ridiculous. I for one would not be sending my child back to school if no preventative measures are put in place.
  • Posted by Fairygodmother May 07, 2020 at 07:24

    Personally I can’t see how social distancing in schools would work. If they are low risk o don’t see why schools couldnt return to normal. It would be like “here’s your friends” but na na na na na you cant sit with them play with them etc. My youngest is just 4 and relies on hugs from her teacher when first going to nursery or if she falls. She also hugs her friends lots. You can’t socially distance them they don’t understand. Even at 8 my eldest would struggle with it at school. We are building up to have a generation of children with emotional issues if we don’t let them get back to normal.
  • Posted by vanessavj May 07, 2020 at 08:24

    Providing child care by teachers for hub facilities is extremely challenging. Experience within the hubs has demonstrated that children find it difficult to maintain a safe distance, that normal patterns of behaviour preclude ability to simple work / play / socialise ‘alone’ within a 2m safe distance. Teachers & care providers walk a delicate balance of providing care whilst ensuring their own & children’s safety. Education staff provide this because they care but protocols around risk assessments are almost impossible to maintain when young children are involved. The hub model is not necessarily a good practice model on which we should build upon.
  • Posted by Tmy May 08, 2020 at 15:48

    There is mention in here about parents who are shielding, there are also teachers in this situation so opening schools could leave some children without their own teacher. This could also be detrimental.
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