Safe schooling at the right time

I cannot understand the push to get schools back (the economy, I know) but children are not immune and neither are teachers!! Schools cannot socially distance- the buildings are not suited to it. Some classrooms have fixed desks so they can’t be moved further apart. Corridors are narrow. Pupils can survive without education for a time and teachers are highly skilled at adapting to fix it when it’s over. I don’t think we should be risking anyone’s health just to get children back to school.

Why the contribution is important

The survival of humans must come ahead of anything else. The economy is a human construct (made up by us). I don’t think we should just use natural selection to sort out COVID 19.

by Supergirl102 on May 06, 2020 at 03:34PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 31 votes


  • Posted by sannylagoose May 06, 2020 at 16:14

    I agree. It would be a silly mistake to allow children back too soon.
  • Posted by Movingforward May 06, 2020 at 16:25

    I have read a lot on this subject and there does not seem to be risks from children transmitting the virus. 2 million vulnerable children have not been seen by anyone in authority for 6 weeks. Children under 10 should be back in schools and nurseries in a phased and safe way as soon as possible.
  • Posted by tjaygillespie May 06, 2020 at 16:27

    I understand your point, however evidence has showed that children are not the “super-spreaders” that officials thought they were. There is no evidence to indicate that children under 10 are spreading the virus to adults. This is the reason why schools were initially shut down. I firmly believe that schools should reopen, with vulnerable students and staff self isolating, as soon as possible.
  • Posted by Laura_m_88 May 06, 2020 at 16:34

    I don't feel there is enough infastructure to return children to schools and nurseries safely. In order to maintain socail distancing guideline and actually care for children numbers would need to be reduced dramatically to make that possible as well as the way we provide the service. Adults have to bring children to the school/nursery therefore the footfall and infection rate inscreases again.
  • Posted by CAlex May 06, 2020 at 16:39

    In response to moving forward; research suggests children are certainly becoming ill from the virus (multi-organ inflammatory disease, Kawasaki etc). However due to children developing less symptoms, they are likely less infectious than a coughing. However, less does not mean they are not infectious at all. There also has to be protections for staff, who certainly can develop severe complications and die from this virus. Children returning involves many adults who must put themselves at risk to make that happen.
  • Posted by theweemaverick May 06, 2020 at 16:44

    I feel that vulnerable children or those for whom childcare is an issue (e.g. both parents are key workers) should be prioritised in whatever way makes most sense and is safest for them. So if schools are safe places for them to be and there are Teachers and other school staff who are fit and healthy and willing to return to work under the COVID19 conditions in order to be there for these children - and the staff therefore have the time and space to plan and co-ordinate the resources appropriately, then great - that could proceed asap. However, for the vast majority of children, I don't want to see them return to school until they can do so without the need to socially distance nor wear face coverings. The idea of my wee tot having to do either of those things is just so sad and I find the idea of it distressing. If it's not considered safe enough for all children to return without such measures being in place - then, in my opinion, they don't return yet. I respect the guidance from Government and have followed it throughout, including keeping my daughter in school until the very last day that she was permitted to do so. I trust in the judgements and abilities of teaching staff also. I have never flouted any rules around term time attendance (e.g. taking holidays etc.) but I know that I would be more than hesitant to have her return if things are as I have described above. If a rule-follower like me feels that way, then I have to be honest and say that I think there is a danger of such variation across the board that Teachers would be under great strain to bridge the teaching of those who are back (part-time or otherwise) with those still being kept at home - and everything in between. My feeling would be keep it simple. Open up for vulnerable (and, if necessary, key worker) kids to ensure their wellbeing. For everyone else, wait until they can go back to school without restriction.
  • Posted by theweemaverick May 06, 2020 at 16:49

    PS I would add that we have two kids and are now down to one (low) income due to COVID19 but even so, I couldn't give two hoots about the capitalist economy. It is a human construct and part of the old 'normal' that didn't work well for most people in the first place. A very personal take there - but politicians talking about the recovery of the economy in the same sentence as the potential of my children's wellbeing doesn't sit well with me.
  • Posted by jlaud3 May 06, 2020 at 17:51

    Bottom line: we should put people before profit. Not the reverse. This means prioritizing people's health, well-being, and safety before anything else. That's the bottom line. This applies to the students as much as it does to staff. Parents need to feel comfortable sending their kids to schools and teachers/staff need to feel comfortable attending schools.
  • Posted by Julief May 06, 2020 at 17:59

    I’m afraid I need to disagree with this point of view. Not so much the children can survive without education for a time. We have some amazing teachers in this country that will do everything they can to help the children once they are back. But there are a huge amount of children living in an unstable home environment. There’s also an immeasurable toll being taken on their mental health living in restricted conditions which they may not understand, and some with adults who are also struggling with mental health. Without doubt there’s a balance to be struck. Nobody wants to risk this virus overwhelming us, but I think we need to acknowledge that keeping children off school is not risk free either.
  • Posted by sgwatson May 06, 2020 at 18:05

    Health before wealth... and everything else for that matter. Our economy will recover from this in time and our kids can work to get to where they should be. However, none of this is possible if we don’t have our health. We cannot take the risk of sending our kids back to school. They are far too important! I for one will not be sending my son back to school until I feel it is safe to do so.
  • Posted by Balderdash May 06, 2020 at 18:13

    I struggle to see how schools will achieve social distancing in primary and in already overcrowded city schools. i would prefer schools remain closed until some of the challenges are met - for example hire community venues as additional teaching spaces. Our local church halls are currently unused (all community classes cancelled) and could be used as teaching venues thus meaning less children attending the overcrowded school building
  • Posted by mumoftwounder4andteacher May 06, 2020 at 18:18

    Can we also consider that teachers are also parents and not all of school age. For a lot of people returning to work the same issue arises, who takes them and brings them home from school or nursery until everyone finishes their shift. What about the thousands of people who work and rely on grandparents to look after under3s or do the school run? How are the government going to support this?
  • Posted by lillega May 06, 2020 at 18:48

    I do not this we should be so quick to dismiss the impact on the economy of opening schools. It is how we paying for everything, including the response to a repeat of the current virus. However, opening them will also help children massively, and will have an effect for their entire life times. It is worth perhaps considering the example of Singapore - after it closed schools for a couple of weeks during the SARS crises there, it also opening them for a similar amount of time in the following holidays. They care about education, as should we all. The impact on inequality is also a reason to open. The independent sector is delivering much more during lockdown than even the best state schools. And it is not hard to observe instances where some in the state sector are receiving nothing, either as a result of virtual truanting or simple lack of provision. Let's not let inequality widen more than it already is. Open the schools.
  • Posted by RitaH1981 May 06, 2020 at 18:48

    Parents should be allowed a choice. The comments above show a wide range of opinions and earning capacities. There are also many valid comments around vulnerable children not attending school at present even though it is open for them, and also evidence emerging that young children are not the super-spreaders initially thought. . If schools were at least told that they would be able to reopen by say mid June, it would allow time to consider how certain measures could be enacted to keep children safe. Parents could also then have the time to consider their options and inform their employers and make other arrangements if possible.
  • Posted by Jb May 06, 2020 at 19:03

    The thought behind children under 10 being back at school should be based on evidence that staff and pupils will not be at risk and not because this is the age group who need baby sat. The vulnerable children are not the schools responsibility they are a collective responsibility and of society worked well these children would not be living with drug addicts and inappropriate parents. By all means support children with additional support needs but that doesn’t require schools to be open. Schools are designed to educate.
  • Posted by Hjb May 06, 2020 at 21:08

    As others have said, scientific evidence suggests that children under the age of 10 are not super spreaders and do not pose a risk to the increase in the spread of the virus. The closing of school is having a huge negative impact on this demographic, (increase in child abuse, increase in mental health issues, loss of education etc) and the negatives of closing the school are now outweighing the positives so schools should reopen.
  • Posted by LShand45 May 06, 2020 at 23:45

    With regards to secondary education, as the parent of two teenagers the transition to home schooling was hard initially but both are doing well with some motivation from me - we are not following strict timings like in school and this seems to be working well for us as a family with two parents working from home also. I believe that a combination of on site schooling and home schooling is achievable for us but may not be suitable for all. As my children are older I am confident now , as they both understand the situation we are all in and how it is impacting on their learning that they would work well in this situation- allowing for the teachers to provide the main teaching criteria of subjects and for them to continue at home, also for allowing some social interaction at school ( even at a distance) to maintain a connection with their friends/ peers which is also an important part in schooling and good for their mental health. I’m sure when it is safe to do so year groups could be divided to attend at different times and within the capacity of the schools with possibly the teachers moving around the school rather than then pupils, therefore reducing the risk of contact. I personally would not object to my children starting back during the summer holidays if it was deemed safe to do so especially if it was on a part time basis as I believe that their education is very important. I am not using the school as a baby sitting service as they are both old enough to look after themselves but feel that they have been brilliant and very resilient throughout this whole situation and deserve to be given the opportunity to education that we had.
  • Posted by Lucy1980 May 07, 2020 at 01:14

    Everyone understands the important of getting back to school as soon as possible but not at the cost of lives. When you say children are not “super spreaders” I assume, just like any other age group they can indeed still have it, and spread it unknowingly (not super spreading at all...just spreading?). A lot of school staff 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 Broughty_man May 07, 2020 at 20:09

    The framework document tells the facts (which are NOT widely publicised):- Public Health Scotland analysis shows that (as of 4 May) 60% of confirmed cases were women and 40% were men Twenty four percent were in the 15-44 age group; 33% in the 45-64 age group and 41% aged 65 years and over. Simple schoolboy arithmetic tells me just 2% are in the age group <15yrs. Our teachers are idle whilst our children's education and future is PERMANENTLY damaged. We have taken our eyes off the ball - The high risk groups are the sick and elderly. The Govt has Failed Them miserably! Children are our future - OPEN THE SCHOOLS.
  • Posted by lindog May 08, 2020 at 19:29

    If consideration is being given to children returning on a part time basis perhaps instead of alternate weeks it would be better to have some pupils in mornings only and some in afternoons then the children will have a contact with the school every day and be able to obtain schoolwork and seek guidance. This would also eliminate the lunch hour where groups of children will congregate. It is also important to have children attend school everyday even if it’s just a part of the day as school provides a safety net for children at risk of harm.
  • Posted by cherry May 08, 2020 at 22:32

    It appears that teachers are against opening of schools, cynical could this be because they want to protect themselves over and above other key workers who are all doing their jobs without complaint e.g shop workers, bin men, posties, NHS staff etc etc or that they want a 5 month holiday rather than a 3 month holiday? Never again can a teacher criticise a parent for taking their child out of school for weeks holiday when now they are saying children will be fine with 5 months of no school as long as parents bake and garden with them. Teachers are looking terrible as a profession in the current situation, never again will they be able to ask for a pay rise.
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