We must consider not only children but staff and there families

If you only read the start of my comment please consider keeping schools closed until after the summer at least as we must not only consider the children and staff but the family member they may live with and infect who may well be shielding or high risk.

I am an infant (P1) primary school teacher and wish to advise caution when reopening schools. I believe strongly that reopening schools in Scotland now would cause a huge rise in Coronavirus cases for a number of reasons which will be detailed below. I understand that there is concern for the well-being for all learners however there health and that of there families must come first. The majority of families have worked extremely hard to get themselves into a routine and through contact and support from teachers and school staff are coping well with home learning. Schools should not be opened until at least after the summer holidays as is being done in countries such as Italy and Ireland who have had a similar Coronavirus situation as us, number of cases. We should not be comparing the school situation in Scotland to that of countries such as Germany and Denmark etc who had very small out breaks compared to what we have here. Lockdown was also started much earlier in those countries than in the UK, which made a huge difference. We must also consider the fact that we have one of the smallest populations but the highest death rate in Europe and ask ourselves why, and do we really want to risk more lives?

The big points that I hope you as a government will consider are:

-The health and safety of all pupils and staff but not only that but there family members. Many pupils may live in a household were there parents or carers are in the shielding or high risk group. Not only that but so might staff members. Opening schools too early could force pupils and staff who live with people with high risk conditions to but the lives of those family members at risk by passing the infection to them. I for one could never forgive myself if due to opening schools too early and going back to work caused a family member of friend to loose there life and I believe that neither would the pupils.

-The health and safety of the pupils - many people have raised the point that Coronavirus does not affect many children or very rarely seriously. However I wish to oppose this view as there has been some young people and children who have lost there lives to this virus and I for one believe if opening schools caused 1 pupil to loose their life then that is one too many.

-Social Distancing - this would just be impossible to properly implement and manage especially with infant children. There are not enough space in classrooms, infant classes are currently operating a play based environment meaning that pupils do not sit at desks so could not be kept apart, pupils could not be effectively monitored and taught at same time especially in play based environment, hand washing cannot be monitored in toilet nor can pupils be kept apart when moving around school e.g to go to toilet, infant pupils need a high amount of support - zipping jackets, opening snacks, dressing for pe, help with work etc which would put pupils and staff at great risk due to close contact. Even a non play based classroom would be too small and pupils cannot be expected to sit at desks all day and what about when they need to move around the room,

-PPE - this equipment would be absolutely necessary to open schools due to points raised above regarding in ability to effective social distance in schools. Schools opening should be delayed to allow PPE equipment to be sourced and put in place for all schools. Even with social distancing this equipment would be necessary as young pupils regularly sneeze or cough on staff as they just do not understand that they are putting people at risk. Please also consider if schools must open making wearing a face mask mandatory for pupils and staff as if everyone was wearing one then no one would be able to cough on each other or infect surfaces.

Please consider all points raised but overall the fact that people who are high risk would be lit at further risk by others or those they are living with.

Why the contribution is important

1. Reopening schools before the holiday could cause pupils and staff to put people they live with at high risk or cost them there life. By bringing the infection home with them from the school.
2. Pupils and staff must be protected through the use of PPE equipment.
3. Social distancing would just not be possible with infant children.
4. Time must be given to plan, reorganise before schools reopen.
5. Could staff living with people with high risk conditions or those with high risk conditions themselves continue to work from home - including teachers as this could save lives.

by Concernedteacher2020 on May 05, 2020 at 08:30PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 9 votes


  • Posted by Kylesku May 05, 2020 at 21:09

    We need to take a balanced approach. To say we should keep all schools closed just in case 1 child dies from Covid is totally unreasonable. We are quite happy to let children travel in to school in cars & on bikes & many of them are killed doing this every year so why is this different. Life is all about balancing risk. Nothign is risk free.
  • Posted by JWatsDoune May 05, 2020 at 21:47

    Dear teacher,
    You are spot on.
  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 21:51

    Very well argued, but if you could see the damage lockdown has already done to our young son's behaviour and emotions, you may feel differently. Our local nursery is desperate to reopen, the staff are profoundly miserable, the kids are struggling badly and the parents are desperate for a resumption of service. The ends of lockdown no longer justify the means.
  • Posted by Laura89 May 06, 2020 at 00:33

    I completely agree.
    As a mother to a p7 child I can see that even at her age she doesnt have the comprehension to fully grasp the need for social distancing even though she is fully aware of the repercussions.
    I also agree that one child dead is too many.....does not bare thinking about.
  • Posted by YMargaret May 06, 2020 at 17:40

    Wholeheartedly agree with all points raised. As the person above pointed out even older pupils will not be able to adhere to social distancing, peer pressure alone it’s uncool to adhere to distancing rules etc. The implications of schools returning before the holiday are far reaching. Please do not place anyone at risk in order to get the economy back on track. Teachers will all be at risk as well as their families. The government would need to issue them with PPE and if carers, police , front line workers don’t have this. I don’t see other essential working being provided with it anytime soon. I hope unions consider the risk to teachers and they are not merely viewed as babysitters to get parents back to work.
  • Posted by grace May 08, 2020 at 21:29

    I agree completely. Primary 1 and 2 pupils are especially vulnerable to catching infections when close together. When schools reopen special care and measures have to be in place to ensure they do not initiate a spread among teachers and families.
    Part- time attendance in primsry schools would be useful initially, perhaps morning sessions for half class and afternoons for other half. School lunches would not need to be provided except for those children who require them and there would be less playground contact to worry about.
     With smaller groups teachers would find it easier to manage the cloakroom distancing, classroom distancing and children can visit the toilets individually. We need to help our children to learn to wear masks safely in class to protect themselves and their teachers. lessons can carry on at home as we have been doing in the other hslf of the day
  • Posted by Missmoe12 May 11, 2020 at 20:09

    Totally agree, i myself am classed as high risk and am an EYP, I do have an advantage of working at an outdoor setting but i'm still worried about what could happen if we go back too soon. I'm a single parent and would hate to potentially bring the virus home to my son. A big part of my job is hands on with the kids, from cuddles if they fall to helping at the toilet, I can see myself having to stop providing basic human needs, affection. Its a scary time and I can see myself stopping a job I love because silly decisions have been made.
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