The latest developments of schools reopening
Posted on 10th June 2020 at 13:54
With plans for a wider opening of schools where all primary school children would return before the summer break now having been scrapped by the government some children won't be back at school until September, at the very earliest.
After the initial reopening of schools at the beginning of the month saw reception, year 1 and year 6 children return to school, the government had plans for a wider reopening with further primary year groups as well as some secondary pupils able to return to school this academic year. These plans are now not materialising in the way ministers first announced.
There are a few reasons for this latest U turn. Firstly headteachers, teachers and teaching unions have for weeks expressed concerns about the ability of schools to accommodate all those children returning while adhering to social distancing rules. Most schools don't have the space to allow for social distancing or the capacity to deal with things such as a larger number of classes (which would need to happen as classes would be split into smaller groups) and staggered start and finish times. Additionally, many parents are not ready to send their children back to school yet and many schools do not deem it safe to open at all. In these first couple of weeks of schools having reopened it is reported that fewer than half of those children eligible to return to school have done so and a large number of schools across the country have been unable to open.
The goverment has now left it to headteachers to decide if and when to open up to further students. The education secretary Gavin Williamson has said that he would like to see shools open up to more students however ultimately he will leave it to the schools themselves to make that decision.
These latest developments have come as a shock to many, particularly after the government seemed confident in their initial plans of a phased reopening where most students would receive some form of face-to-face support before the summer break. The former chief inspector of schools in England, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has described the government's failure to get students back to school "absolutely astonishing", arguing that schools will need to quickly put in place recovery programmes and extra catch-up classes over summer to help ensure that children do not fall too far behind. There is an increasing fear that the attainment gap will now widen as the delayed return of schools reopening will no doubt affect disadvataged children most. Many children from disadvantaged backgrounds have not been able to access the online resources from home that have been offered during this period and a large number of these children may also not have homeschooling support at home.
At Marvellous Minds we are very aware of the worry that many parents now experience with regards to their children's loss of education. We have therefore brought our Marvellous Minds Summer Club forward, meaning students are now able to attend half or full days of fun and educational sessions throughout the summer. The summer club is designed to keep children's minds active over the summer period. Our dynamic and experienced tutors are helping students catch up on anything missed, get up to speed with their curriculum and ensuring children can return to school confident and motivated.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the latest developments in the government plans to reopen schools. Is your child going to be affected by the delay in opening further year groups? Do you welcome the decision not to push ahead with the reopening or do you feel it will have an adverse effect on children's learning?
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