It seemed inevitable as city after town after village were moved into Tier 3. It still came as a shock though on Saturday and our thoughts mostly turned to practicalities- haircuts, winter coats, and the big one, schools.
Twitter is on fire with calls to #CloseSchoolsNow with understandable concerns that not closing them will extend the lockdown, risk school staff’s health and of course this is a worry we share at Fegans and Dad.info. Fegans works with hundreds of school-age children in crisis every week. We also run two pre-schools. Everything we do, we do for vulnerable families and children. However, alongside the children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, the Head Teachers union and both main political parties, Fegans are firmly, unequivocally, against the #CloseSchoolsNow campaign.
Ian Soars, CEO of Dad.info and Fegans comments, “many Fegans staff have suffered personally through Covid-19. We have lost family and friends. It is a terrible disease with profound consequences for many of us. We are in awe of the teachers and school workers who are courageously and sacrificially providing a haven for so many vulnerable children. I have called before for a “National Education Service” to be placed on the same emotional footing as the NHS”.
Fegans’ experience in the last lockdown was that school closures were damaging for the most vulnerable amongst us. Ian, remains clear, “loss of school contact with friends and a stable environment has set millions of children way back in their emotional wellbeing and development. Many simply will not recover. The science is still unclear what part children play in the transmission of Covid-19 but it is very clear about the damage to vulnerable children of schools closing. All 2.2 million of them.”.
If your young people are returning to school today, we hope they have a great first day back and remember to take a moment and send an email or a quick note with thanks to the amazing school staff who are making this possible.