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Back to School after Lockdown!

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Amidst controversy over safety UK schools are due to re-open in September - having recently reopened ourselves we can appreciate the challenges faced by Schools!

We’ve taken a bit of time to look at education during and after the lockdown, whether it was all bad and whether it might have even improved some things...

What has the cost been of homeschooling during Corona?

For months and months Britain’s kids have been effectively home schooled which, if articles on the net are to be believed, has been a pretty mixed bag!

One major cost that many parents are feelings is the toll it’s taken on their sanity!

Quite early on in the lockdown Nadia Cohen’s article in The Metro described how a even a professional teacher got frazzled:

“I was impressed by the head teacher’s attempt to gather over three hundred pupils on one giant video call for a group assembly. She was far from amused however when they kept muting her and sent inappropriate emojis to one another. The following week she sent a pre-recorded message about the importance of patience.”

You might also have presumed that children would be safer at home than at school, but some studies (like this very scholarly article in the British Medical Journal) explored the potential for increased risk of domestic accidents in children, as an additional collateral damage of this pandemic.

They searched the paediatric emergency department (PED) electronic database for injuries related to trauma, poisoning, burns and foreign bodies stuck in holes in the body (ears, noses etc), as well as any presentations flagged as domestic injury.

They found that the number and severity of presentations was substantially increased during the lockdown period in comparison with last year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the one cost few people are talking about is economic

(Probably a bit of a hot potato politically!)

Even Tim Harford’s opinion piece in the Financial Times (titled “The cost of keeping schools closed will be dreadful“) concentrates far more on the cost in terms of children’s development and how disadvantaged kids could be further set back by staying out of school longer.

Could Corona change education for the better?

While the controversy over will they, won’t they open schools rages on, it might be worth reflecting on whether there have been any positives that have come out education having to adapt to the lockdown and what lessons might have been learned.

The pandemic has undoubtedly altered the way education works and the methods it uses. It has definitely cemented the importance of new technology and the internet in teaching.

(ironically it turns out all that time we thought kids were wasting their lives staring at computer screens was actually a dress rehearsal!)

There are downsides however - an article on noted that post Corona the digital divide in the world could widen - with 40% of the world’s population still without the internet “less affluent and digitally savvy individual families are, the further their students are left behind.”

One thing that may be prioritised more is the mental wellbeing of students which, prior to the lockdown, was often derided as a way of getting attention which distracted students from their education.

As this Article on states “In case anyone was in any doubt, the lockdown has made it clear that without their teachers’ care and support it’s hard for many young people to stay well and focused.”

The article also points out other things highlighted by the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, such as the vulnerability of the global economy to collapses in essential supplies and how undervalued many of the jobs that have been so important during lockdown are! (fruit and vegetable harvesters, supermarket staff, nurses and doctors).

Is there anything we should’ve mentioned?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or views on education during the Lockdown?

Is there anything you think we should have mentioned?

If there is get in touch and let us know – you can also do it on Facebook or Twitter.

By Alastair Baker at 31 Aug 2020, 00:00 AM