Schooling post-COVID-19: What are my family’s options?

Only a mere couple of weeks ago, children across the UK would have been putting their pencils down and celebrating the start of their summer break; but this year like none other has us already looking into the near future and asking ourselves; what does school look like in September?

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Only a mere couple of weeks ago, children across the UK would have been putting their pencils down and celebrating the start of their summer break; but this year like none other has us already looking into the near future and asking ourselves; what does school look like in September?

The UK closed it’s schools to the masses from March and will look to reopen again from September. This reopen is planned, only whilst infection rates of the COVID virus are stable without new outbreaks, which following the Governments address less than a week ago, is now a possibility.

However despite recent articles from parents and children alike stating they want and understand the need to restart the schooling system again, many are expressing their nervousness and don’t feel comfortable in sending their children back. 

Unlike the UK, some schooling systems across the world did not close their doors, even during the peaks of COVID-19, including; Sweden and Taiwan. By early June over 20 different nations had their schools up and running; in a way that could be considered an uncontrolled experiment on their part. Interestingly, there was not a global standard of etiquette and safety measures in place when reopening institutes, varying quite dramatically from nation to nation; with some implementing a strict social distancing measures, some allowing their children to play freely; some ensuring masks are worn at all times, and many who had them only as an option. Reportedly even some countries, when a positive COVID test had been analysed, the school would continue to operate and only send these children home, if they had symptoms hindering their ability to learn. The health and safety office in Finland, in particular, quoted that an outbreak was always “inevitable” and would manage the ramifications accordingly.

Unfortunately, data coming out of these countries have been far and few between them, which has not allowed organisations to come to a full conclusion of how best to operate any potential restart of the education system. Even without this definitive information, many believe that now is the time for a change and we should reform the educational systems across the world.

Late June, the UK Secretary of Education, Gavin Williamson, assured the nation that the academic year will begin accordingly and it will be “compulsory” for children to restart their educational studies and “nothing can replace being in the classroom”.

The following advice was published on the .GOV website where we’re advised that; restrictions on group sizes will be lifted, but schools should still implement sensible group “bubbles” where possible, this is using an example of younger and older children being distanced accordingly. This recent outline from the UK government removes restrictions that would mean 30% of children would’ve been unable to be accommodated at schools, due to previous distancing measures.

With these comments and the removal of restrictions, it interestingly indicates that there would be no ‘need’ to continue with distanced education. This is despite the calls from parents, educators and publications alike to continue some sort of distance learning hybrid for children. This hybrid of learning, commonly known as blended learning, would mean a mixture of in-school, traditional methods of learning; mixed with potentially shorter hours and a much higher requirement for home-based or remote-based learning, which has commonly been understood and accommodated by parents during the ‘lockdown’ phase of fighting the global pandemic.

By having this much higher blend of learning experiences, it would help limit the potential contaminants between children and families alike. However unless a second wave of the COVID virus causes closures once again, the UK have seemingly decided to proceed with the more traditional approach.

Give us your opinions, we’d love to hear from you;

Are you comfortable sending your child back?

Have you loved helping your child learn from home?

Have you felt your child needs a more traditional approach?

Are you looking forward to schools reopening?

Let us know on Twitter using @techwillsaveus! 

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