Parents still nervous about the return to school
With children in Nursery, Reception, Years 1 and 6 able to go back to school from last week, we wanted to know what your latest eOpinion is.
Three weeks ago you said that only 10% of you were comfortable with schools reopening on 1 June. Whilst a quarter of you have ultimately sent your children back, the majority elected not to. The BBC picked up on this last Monday with its report on the mixed picture on turn-out.
It has clearly been difficult for parents to decide what to do, having to weigh up the educational and social benefits to children of going back to school versus the possible risks to children, teaching staff and wider society.
“For my son’s mental well-being, I felt that when a little bit of normality was offered, we needed to accept it.”
Jem however told us:
“I kept my Y1 child home to keep her teachers safer. I don’t believe that the key elements to make school return safer for everyone are in place. Track and trace is not really functioning. I know people working for them and they say it is absolutely not operational. When top scientists say it’s too soon, it’s too soon to open.”
Whichever option eOpinion community parents plumped for in the end, most of you back your own decision.
One community member unequivocally told us:
“If a child is expected to socially distance, not mix with their friends, has to wash their clothes each night and wash their hands all day, it isn’t safe for children or staff. My child won’t be a guinea-pig.”
Tanya, though, highlighted the pressure that some of you have been under juggling home-schooling with everything else that the last three months have thrown at us:
“For some parents, especially single parents, these few weeks back before the summer holidays should help or lessen the mental strain.”
For Mary, schools have reopened too soon, or certainly without having had time to receive the necessary support to make sure teaching remains inclusive:
“The school do not have facilities or support to enable good hygiene and effective social distancing without splitting groups changing class room set up and are only delivering the reduced online timetables in school. The changes including to staffing are too alienating for my autistic son.”
Not that every school reopened of course, or were in a position to welcome back the chosen year groups. Lucy told us:
“The school did not have capacity to open for year six, otherwise my child would be at school.”
Return to school eOpinions barometer for wider debate
Deciding on sending children back to school is complicated, but so is the bigger picture.
Jo told us:
“There has been so much media scaremongering that people are now panicking. We need to get children back to school, we need to get adults back to work, we need to get the economy moving or the country will fall into a massive depression which will do much more damage than coronavirus has done. Coronavirus will not go away we will have to learn to live with it like we do illness such as flu that have seasonal spikes.”
H. however said:
“There is still a risk, the government have no clue.”
It may be months or years before we know who was right.
The survey was conducted on eOpinion.org with 1,960 people between 2 and 8 June 2020 and is nationally representative.
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