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Will schools reopen soon? Navigating week 10 of school closure Rss

Posted on: May 8th 2020

Whether schools will reopen soon continues to circle across the country as developments are made; to prepare for the eventual easing of lockdown guidelines.

Reaching our 10th week in lockdown, Parent Poll ran by the Sutton Trust and Public First, only 18% of totalled 1500 parents surveyed, felt ‘quite confident’ in their ability to teach and explaining while their child is learning at home. Parents everywhere continue to ask, when will schools reopen? Learning at home is a difficult and complex task for any parent, teachers, and staff everywhere are hard at work to see to it all children can access learning.

A need to cater to a diverse range of living circumstances and levels of accessibility further contribute to this figure. Accessibility to resources, for example, continues to be a huge roadblock for students learning from home as some are without a laptop or little to poor internet connection.  Along with more varied effects of school closures, the mounting difficulty in maintaining effective independent learning continues to be an issue that all schools are staying responsive to. But with the question of when will schools reopen still looming over, how are students and teachers feeling?

Interviewed recently by the Times, Alicia Corley, Vice Principal at Harris Academy Sutton, shares that the experience is unique to what teachers are used to in their time as teachers. Fearing that the loss of routine for students may be a difficult aspect of the journey back into the classroom.

“This is a personal challenge as well as a professional one. Teachers go into this career because they like spending time with others, and young people in particular. Suddenly it’s all got a bit abstract.

I worry about the children, that they will have forgotten how to do a normal day when this is over, but we can cross that bridge if we come to it. This is not the only difficult time they will experience, so if we can help them through this and build their resilience it could help them throughout their lives.”

As seen on Channel Four news, Lee Robertson, Headteacher at Harris Junior Carshalton speaks to Channel Four about what a reopening could entail and how some students are feeling:

“If we open the school to all three hundred and ninety-seven children straight away, then it is a physically impossibility to keep everybody two metres apart from each other. What we are seeing from our phone calls home and our contact with families is that we’re seeing more fluctuation in anxiety levels for example, in some children, so the danger is that the longer this goes on, this becomes more prevalent.”

Keeping learning going.

Alicia Corely continues to gives an insight on how they are keeping present and responsive during this time as we continue to wonder when will schools reopen:

“First thing in the morning I check that our virtual school is working, and everything is set so teachers and pupils can get on with their lessons. There are no live lessons. The school took a decision to allow pupils to access their lessons at any time of the day as we knew not every child has a laptop, and not every child has a private space to sit and work for an hour at a time. Where families have no laptops pupils can borrow them from the school, which has also provided dongles for those with poor or no Wi-Fi. We didn’t want to put even more pressure on families and pupils.”

As we continue to closely monitor the Government’s advice and guidance on when will schools reopen, we are inundated with gratitude to the teachers and staff across our academies who continue to push forward and work hard to provide and or support a positive learning environment for the students and families they serve. 

To read more on how schools have been affected, when will schools reopenclick the links below for the full-length articles.

Contacts and links to more information

Sutton Trust: UK Parent Poll - Public First

The Times Interview with Alicia Coyle, VP At Harris Academy Sutton – “How work in Britain has been changed by coronavirus”

Channel 4 News Interview with Lee Robertson, Headteacher at Harris Junior Academy Carshalton – “Teachers condemn ‘irresponsible speculation’ about schools re-opening”

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