Four weeks of the new school system as we currently know it now complete. It was so good to chat to a few people that I had not spoken to for several weeks, the longest being my old boss based in London who laughed out load when I told her we camped on the drive last night for Dan’s Cub Scout annual camp. Usha (my old boss) asked what I was up to being that I couldn’t watch Everton nor be off in the new camper van, hence the sharing of, well actually…. Little conversations and loud laughs like these are so welcome in these times.
As we start now to seriously think about the gradual return to school, it must be done with patience, respect and collaboration. These are huge decisions where, whilst children are apparently low risk, there will be many school staff who are not; parents dropping off and picking up who are not; and the whole unintended but unavoidable passings that allow it.
Patience is needed to enable and allow those planning the most effective and safe way to return, to do so without undue pressure. It is better to do it right, a week or three later than wanted by some, than to do it sooner and face later, devastating consequences.
Respect is needed as should always be the case – people are in different places both mentally and physically. As people, as parents, we have different views on what is right, wrong, acceptable and important. Just because I am happy to climb a tree, I should not impose it on another, scared of heights. This return to school and work is just the same. If it were I guess it would be like the armed forces who need to act on instruction quickly. Or is that the regime we want in civilian life now too?
Collaboration finally is vital. Taking into account the above two points, without collaboration there will be neither of the above. Collaboration incorporates, for me, communication, relationships, best knowledge and capacity. With this, we can make it work in a way that no-one is being forced to do it or quit.
Away from the topic of returning, new situations like this present new opportunities to learn. This are welcome distractions from the limited variation in the day, and I am fortunate to have a garden and, controversially, be able to go to work (for key workers). I hope others are keeping safe and spare a decent thought for those who have lost a loved one.