Covid-19 / Days Off

Back to School…?

It’s a difficult time. I’ve said that before, quite a bit. My thoughts at present are with the many who worry about returning to school, genuinely concerned for themselves and others. My thoughts aren’t with those jumping on the ‘bullying’ pursuit of all schools being closed, believing they know what thick brush stroke is right for all. Many are going back to school tomorrow: some with children and some for a training day. Some are not returning yet either because they are working remotely or they still have a number of days of the Christmas break to go. I am fortunate in that I don’t return until Thursday so I have a few more days to enjoy – at home.

For those going back tomorrow there will be many who are genuinely concerned. They may or may not be vulnerable; they may or may not know anybody who has had the disease. There most certainly will be some who have suffered either themselves or because of a family member. It is this very fact that makes the doubters, bullies, fraudsters and others all the more annoying; using others to suit their own needs is appalling. These unions and teachers that encourage people not to turn up, to refuse to do what they are paid to do, and to quote a serious bit of law about health and safety. No where is guaranteed to be safe at the moment. Have you heard of those that have had Covid 19 after staying at home, being careful and being ill? There are also the others that have not stayed in; they haven’t been careful and they are fine. These are difficult times with no easy answers.

I also know that going to school (or any place with many people all in the same space) is a real concern with no guarantees. Schools and the people in them need to be careful but to think every school is the same and should have the same freedoms, restrictions or other, is naive. Schools need to ensure they do everything possible to reduce the risks and maintain the bubbles, strictly. Decisions need to be made that are brave and in some cases, put preferred learning practices aside for a while, such as mixed groups for phonics, maths or whatever.

Schools are safe.

Boris Johnson

The PM’s statement about schools is, in my opinion, careless. I do not think schools are especially unsafe, but I do not think we can say any place is safe at the moment. That is not to say I think schools are too much of a risk. I would not actually pass comment on any other school as I am not in them and have not been involved in any decisions – I can only comment on the one I am at. I wish all could do the same and respect others and the decisions they make. Leaders in individual schools should be able to make their decisions and get on with it. Good communication, empathy and the willingness to adapt would work.

One of the most disappointing things I read by a teacher was the encouragement to another to ‘call in sick’. Use the 5 days self-certification stay at home without having the guts to discuss the matter with the leader. This type of teacher is not welcome in the profession and does nothing for the reputation that is already being ruined by other propaganda. I am grateful to the many teachers who do their bit, are honest and give their all. I am also grateful to every other member of the population (key worker or not) who do the right thing and respect others.

So the break for many is over. Risk Assessments updated, staff reassured and into the breach once more. Take take in your schools and be positive. The children and staff need the smiles and whilst some will feel let down by the politicians, there really is no easy decision and how many politicians have really supported you? I could name a few but they are the minority.

Take care and be safe (or as safe as you can be).

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