Thoughts on sending kids back to school in June.

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
I was thinking at how much easier this would have been to dealt with when I was a child, as mine and most of my friends mum's did not work or didn't need to.

It does seem to me that the current need for both parents to work is the driving force behind getting the schools fully reopened, therefore putting the children, teachers and support staff at risk solely for economic reasons, also confirmed to me by the wealthy private schools not yet screaming to return.

It also seems incredible to me that decent home tutoring is not possible in a time when so many can work from home, free laptops with free internet and a decent online course should be possible.

The media is now in full swing against the teachers & their unions, so I have no doubt that all of the children will be back soon...It won't be that long before the media will be telling us all how the lazy NHS now has a 10 million long waiting list, the Sun will probably campaign for a boo on Thursday's day ;)
I think things will change with schools, especially for older children, having proper online coursework and zoom things if needed and so on. Something good has to come out of all this, especially with the upcoming recession and back to austerity!

However I have to say working from home is now the norm for me and I'm really enjoying it and a lot less stressed but....working full time from home (as is my wife) and home schooling is one of the most difficult and stressful things I've ever done. Think it has definitely opened my eyes but also made me grow as a person, even life changing.
 

inzaman

Moderator
I was thinking at how much easier this would have been to dealt with when I was a child, as mine and most of my friends mum's did not work or didn't need to.

It does seem to me that the current need for both parents to work is the driving force behind getting the schools fully reopened, therefore putting the children, teachers and support staff at risk solely for economic reasons, also confirmed to me by the wealthy private schools not yet screaming to return.

It also seems incredible to me that decent home tutoring is not possible in a time when so many can work from home, free laptops with free internet and a decent online course should be possible.

The media is now in full swing against the teachers & their unions, so I have no doubt that all of the children will be back soon...It won't be that long before the media will be telling us all how the lazy NHS now has a 10 million long waiting list, the Sun will probably campaign for a boo on Thursday's day ;)
We both work and it has been somewhat a challenge for our younger one (daughter), my oldest however goes to an Independent School and they are following government policy, although they have the space due to small class sizes to accommodate the relevant measure they are still keeping year 7 and others as advised by the government away, but have said they are ready to go once government guidelines change.
My son however does have a full itinerary each day via google classroom and teams and seems engaged at least enough to keep him occupied, and has to log on by 9am (else we get a phone call as to where he is, is he okay etc) and he works for the most part with breaks 9am through 4pm. He seems quite happy and is not wanting to go back yet because he doesn't get any homework being at home, maybe he does it all during the day so doesnt realise - i dont know!!!

I do want him back however as you just cannot match face to face learning and the development he will hopefully get in the environment he is experiencing during school hours and the learning and development at this age is critical which just cannot be matched or replicated away from physical classrooms in my opinion.

My daughter year 2 is a completely different experience however, i think we had one phone call in the past three months or so?
 

mij

Well-known Member
I think things will change with schools, especially for older children, having proper online coursework and zoom things if needed and so on. Something good has to come out of all this, especially with the upcoming recession and back to austerity!

However I have to say working from home is now the norm for me and I'm really enjoying it and a lot less stressed but....working full time from home (as is my wife) and home schooling is one of the most difficult and stressful things I've ever done. Think it has definitely opened my eyes but also made me grow as a person, even life changing.
I do hope something good does come from this, while at the same time hoping nothing bad comes my way from my wife working with others children.
 

mij

Well-known Member
We both work and it has been somewhat a challenge for our younger one (daughter), my oldest however goes to an Independent School and they are following government policy, although they have the space due to small class sizes to accommodate the relevant measure they are still keeping year 7 and others as advised by the government away, but have said they are ready to go once government guidelines change.
My son however does have a full itinerary each day via google classroom and teams and seems engaged at least enough to keep him occupied, and has to log on by 9am (else we get a phone call as to where he is, is he okay etc) and he works for the most part with breaks 9am through 4pm. He seems quite happy and is not wanting to go back yet because he doesn't get any homework being at home, maybe he does it all during the day so doesnt realise - i dont know!!!

I do want him back however as you just cannot match face to face learning and the development he will hopefully get in the environment he is experiencing during school hours and the learning and development at this age is critical which just cannot be matched or replicated away from physical classrooms in my opinion.

My daughter year 2 is a completely different experience however, i think we had one phone call in the past three months or so?
I do understand the need to get the children back as soon as possible, but it is being rushed for economic reasons imho, and as somebody posted earlier, this is possibly not yet over when looking at what is currently happening in Beijing.

Maybe adding an extra year to all children's education will be needed, or something else?
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
We're opening for everyone except years 2, 3 and 4 from 6th July. And that's us at capacity with the number of staff we've got off so there won't be any more. And at a max of 15 per class unless the social distancing rule is removed entirely.
 

mij

Well-known Member
We're opening for everyone except years 2, 3 and 4 from 6th July. And that's us at capacity with the number of staff we've got off so there won't be any more. And at a max of 15 per class unless the social distancing rule is removed entirely.
The social distancing rule will be relaxed, the priority is getting the children back so that the parents can get back to work. The media with the backing of government is already in full swing to make it so.
 

fat jez

Well-known Member

24 outbreaks in schools last week. Details in govt report link in tweet.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member

24 outbreaks in schools last week. Details in govt report link in tweet.
Wow, and there I was thinking of maybe sending my son back in 2 weeks possibly..might hold off as that's pretty high numbers considering how few kids are back at school.
I guess with other restrictions reduced such as shops opening it probably isn't helping these outbreaks (as well as the protests etc...)
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
When my school was at capacity back in March (650 or so children and over 50 staff), we had two confirmed cases. That was when it was business as usual.

As far as I'm aware, we've not had any other confirmed cases (but quite a few anecdotal 'I think he's had it' sort of cases!)

We can't be cocky, but I'd suggest that if under the previous conditions it didn't really spread - and we were very late shutting down compared to other countries - then your children would be safe to go back now.

I'm usually the epitome of caution - especially when it comes to my own young children - and I'm very comfortable with my decision to send them back 3 weeks ago.

But my family are all fit with no underlying conditions, and my wife can work from home, so not as hard a decision to make as many.
 

fat jez

Well-known Member
Sociologist not good with numbers... it's 12 COVID-19 outbreaks, not 24. 24 is the total number of acute respiratory outbreaks.
They don't give (unless I have missed it) full information on how many were tested, only that of the 24, 12 tested positive. I'd like to know if they did full tests of all 24 schools. Call me cynical, but I don't trust how the government spins information.
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
Just for clarification.

Acute respiratory outbreaks, England

199 new acute respiratory outbreaks have been reported in week 24 (Figure 11):

• 101 outbreaks were from care homes where 67 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from hospitals where 21 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from schools where 12 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• No outbreaks were from prisons this week
• 50 outbreaks were from the Other Settings category where 34 tested positive for SARSCoV-2
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Just for clarification.

Acute respiratory outbreaks, England

199 new acute respiratory outbreaks have been reported in week 24 (Figure 11):

• 101 outbreaks were from care homes where 67 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from hospitals where 21 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from schools where 12 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• No outbreaks were from prisons this week
• 50 outbreaks were from the Other Settings category where 34 tested positive for SARSCoV-2
It's odd, such small numbers than we are used to but somehow still seems like a pandemic
 

fat jez

Well-known Member
Just for clarification.

Acute respiratory outbreaks, England

199 new acute respiratory outbreaks have been reported in week 24 (Figure 11):

• 101 outbreaks were from care homes where 67 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from hospitals where 21 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• 24 outbreaks were from schools where 12 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2
• No outbreaks were from prisons this week
• 50 outbreaks were from the Other Settings category where 34 tested positive for SARSCoV-2
Still assuming the other 12 tested negative. It is not clear if they were tested or not. I would want to see “12 tested positive, 12 tested negative” so I know they’ve not done half a job.
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
It's odd, such small numbers than we are used to but somehow still seems like a pandemic
There's no doubt we're still in Pandemic mode and will be for some time to come. We're just at a different stage is all. The death rate is dropping, however we're identifying infection hot-spots all the time due to better information all round. Lets hope these mini spikes stay benign and pass through the population without causing any major damage.
 

iangreasby

Well-known Member
It's odd, such small numbers than we are used to but somehow still seems like a pandemic
Caution is still definitely needed but I think our perception is somewhat skewed by the way the media have reported this. I'm too young to remember much about the 1968 flu pandemic, but I do know that my schooling wasn't affected in any way whatsoever. I posted the following on one of the other threads recently and I think it typifies the way the press can sway public opinion.

Yet more sensationalist headlines today, this time from The Sun.

www.thesun.co.uk

Coronavirus UK LIVE: R rate rises above 1 in England as deaths hit 41,571
CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have hit 41,622 across all settings. The Department of Health confirmed this afternoon that as of 9am on 13 June, there have been 6,624,676 tests, with 188,794 tests co…
www.thesun.co.uk
www.thesun.co.uk

It's not until you read further down that you discover the R number has risen above 1 only in the South West, but that it is between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK as a whole. They also make the point that the number of deaths today was one of the lowest single day increases. I can't find anything more on the "NHS prepares for a second wave" but I suspect that is more preparing for a worst case scenario than a real threat of a second wave happening. All in all, the headline is not representative of the facts contained within the article. In my opinion it is misleading at best and bordering on irresponsible. This is one of the reasons for the country being gripped by fear.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
Well my children have been back for almost a month - their classses have gone from 6-8, to the now max capacity of 15.

Surely it can only be a matter of time now before the (extremely expensive) sham of social distancing in schools will be abandoned and so we can get prepared for September properly?

Those working in schools are going to have a monumental job on their hands to get our children back on track - academically and, more importantly, mentally. The sooner we know what we're going to be dealing with in September the better it'll be for everyone.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Well my children have been back for almost a month - their classses have gone from 6-8, to the now max capacity of 15.

Surely it can only be a matter of time now before the (extremely expensive) sham of social distancing in schools will be abandoned and so we can get prepared for September properly?

Those working in schools are going to have a monumental job on their hands to get our children back on track - academically and, more importantly, mentally. The sooner we know what we're going to be dealing with in September the better it'll be for everyone.
I am guessing August will be when things are relaxed a bit more but we know that schools can't go back with any kind of social distancing as there just isn't the room.

We've contacted our school about our 5yr old going back in a week or two so he at least gets 2-3 weeks routine before the summer holidays.
We have basically run out of things to teach him.. :)
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
We're basically assuming that come September schools will be operating normally and that's what we're planning for. If all the students are expected to be back we don't have the space to do social distancing if it's still in place. We're planning our lessons around everyone being in with a focus on going over the content that has been done at home these last few months.
We've pretty much written off this year as there's still a lot of resistance from parents about kids being in and we break up for the summer in 3 weeks anyway.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
The return to school rules as they stand are an absolute shambles.


Just the additional cost of tripling lunchtime organiser / kitchen staff time (if they're willing to do the work), is going to be incredibly expensive. And why do all this if, as they're saying, there's no risk. What about toileting? How do you stagger 650 children and 75+ staff toileting whilst maintaining the bubbles?

My maths says even if you stagger each class by only 10 minutes that's almost a 3 hour differential in start and finish from the first and last class. The impact of staffing is going to be incredible and unless the government changes their rules there's no way school is returning full time for all children in September.

Shambolic.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
My wife has said that she is worried about class discipline when going back in September.

Unfortunately there is always the minority of students that are not interested and disrupt the lessons. As it is there are ever few ways of dealing with this and kids know this and use it to their best advantage. One of the few options left to teachers is to extract a disruptive kid and sit them in an older class with some work to do - which is quite effective. But this option won’t be available in September because students will have to be kept within their assigned bubbles at all times.

My wife fears that the disruptive minority will quickly cotton onto to this and take advantage of it.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
The return to school rules as they stand are an absolute shambles.


Just the additional cost of tripling lunchtime organiser / kitchen staff time (if they're willing to do the work), is going to be incredibly expensive. And why do all this if, as they're saying, there's no risk. What about toileting? How do you stagger 650 children and 75+ staff toileting whilst maintaining the bubbles?

My maths says even if you stagger each class by only 10 minutes that's almost a 3 hour differential in start and finish from the first and last class. The impact of staffing is going to be incredible and unless the government changes their rules there's no way school is returning full time for all children in September.

Shambolic.
But they have to go back and keeping children off longer will be a massive issue with their education.
Presuming there won’t be any child social distancing within the year group bubble then they can all go to the toilet together. Whether schools have more toilets so different bubbles can use different toilets I don’t know.

I guess staggered start/finish times and lunch is just something that needs to be done but as you say it’ll be difficult. We are all having to make massive changes everywhere, at work, shopping and now schools do this is the new norm as life cannot just stop.
Hopefully as there are several months to go there’s enough time to get everything prepared such as clean down routines for toilets and lunch area after use and getting extra staff if needed.

My 5yr old has been back a week and so far all is good. He’s loving going back and being with his friends, definitely the right choice. The school are doing a fantastic job and we are glad he’s going to get a few weeks normality before the school holidays :)
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
But they have to go back and keeping children off longer will be a massive issue with their education.
Presuming there won’t be any child social distancing within the year group bubble then they can all go to the toilet together. Whether schools have more toilets so different bubbles can use different toilets I don’t know.
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I guess staggered start/finish times and lunch is just something that needs to be done but as you say it’ll be difficult. We are all having to make massive changes everywhere, at work, shopping and now schools do this is the new norm as life cannot just stop.
Hopefully as there are several months to go there’s enough time to get everything prepared such as clean down routines for toilets and lunch area after use and getting extra staff if needed.

My 5yr old has been back a week and so far all is good. He’s loving going back and being with his friends, definitely the right choice. The school are doing a fantastic job and we are glad he’s going to get a few weeks normality before the school holidays :)
In primary the guidance is that one class is a bubble, not year group. So we've got 17 bubbles of 30 to manage. So best case we'll be having 5x30 children per set of toilets. How do you stagger that? When you've got to go you've got to go.

How do you tell a teacher, who has children of their own to drop and collect, that now they're working 12pm-6pm instead of 9am-3pm.

Just seems pointless to me. If there is the level of risk that all of that is necessary, they shouldn't be back at all.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Those plans are poorly thought out and for a lot of schools, particularly secondary schools they're just not possible.
For us if the bubbles are separated by year groups well have 6 bubbles of 240 students, and two sixth form bubbles of 50. We only have two dining rooms so breaks and lunches would have to be staggered with time allocated between sessions for cleaning. That would be very time consuming.
65% of our students live in villages surrounding the town and rely on buses. I don't know where the extra buses would come from if bubbles have to be separate. We already share our buses with the primary schools in the area due to cost and availability of vehicles.
Forward facing desks isn't possible in most classrooms due to group sizes. Its definitely not possible in rooms like science labs and technology where the pods are fixed to the floors for safety.
We've got 4 sets of toilets, one in each block of the school so those will definitely have to be shared.
Plus there's the potential behaviour issues that nheather already mentioned. We use the same practice of removing children, I don't know what the alternative would be to that.

I completely agree with the sentiment that children need to get back to school in September, but personally I think the risks to the students are low enough that they may as well just come back as normal. Forget about bubbles and staggered times, just get on with it. I know that's probably not going to be a popular sentiment, but badly thought out measures like these are just not workable so why bother trying?
 

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