The return of schools after Covid-19

On Sunday 10th May 2020 – The Prime Minister announced that some of the Covid-19 lockdown measures would be eased – this included a possible phased return of primary schools. The PM told the nation that reception, year 1 and year 6 children would be the first to go back on a possible date of June 1st.

Soon after this I asked Twitter if they had a child in those year groups, would they be willing to send their children to school? Is it worth the risk?

So far it looks like most/most parents would keep their children off school

 

So far it looks like most/most parents would keep their children off school! A few teachers have commented saying they will no choice as they will have to work.

It also brings about many unanswered questioned, which I am sure will be answered in the coming days. Questions like:

How do you manage to tell 5 year olds to keep 2 metres apart?

How will class sizes be managed?

Will students be bused in? how will school transport be monitored to government guidelines?

Will their be staggered times of entry? managed lunch and social times?

Will taking your child to school be optional? What if you have one child in year 1 and one child in year 3 – can you return to work?

Will the keyworker list be extended?

It will also be the start of many secondary schools planning as the PM also said year 10 and year 12 will have some time their teachers before the end of the year (maybe he has forgotten they are still being set work and contacted by their teachers?). Many of the same problems I highlighted for the primary schools will be similar for secondary.

Just like before lockdown when all schools worked independently to quickly make plans for remote learning, with little or no guidance from government it will be the same again for planning for a phased return? Every school will now be planning, yes every school has a difference context and cohort, but would it not be easier for schools to be given basic guidance first and allow them to plan from these starting blocks.

Many schools will start to look at what measures, Europe and the world have implemented, as schools have started to reopen in other nations.

France

A return in staged year groups [1]

No more than 15 pupils per class [1]

Parents will not be forced to send their children to school – it will be optional [2]

If classes are oversubscribed keyworker and vulnerable children will get priority [2]

Primary pupils aged 5 to 11 would go back first (12.05.2020) [1]

The following week secondary students would return[1]

Summer holidays will not changed [2]

All teachers and school staff should wear masks. Secondary students also need to wear them. [2]

Teachers with poor health / isolating will continue to work from home[2]

French Education Minister  Jean-Michel  Blanquer said the aim was to have primary school children back in “small groups”, probably of “less than 10 pupils”. The plan is likely to prove challenging for headteachers in public schools, where classes of 30-plus pupils are common. [1]

 

Netherlands

Primary schools would reopen on 11.05.2020 [1]

Pupils will attend school in rotation. One day for half the pupils the next for the other half. [1]

Half ‘groups will be all day at school the other is at home

Groups are split depending on surname so family groups will be grouped together

Secondary schools would reopen one month later [1]

 

China

Smaller classes – maximum of 20 students [3]

Shorter lessons [3]

Assemblies cancelled [4]

Avoid public transport – parents told to collect children by car [3]

Middle are high school students returned first [4]

Students walk past thermal scanners, have masks and screens [5]

All students and staff have had virus tests before turning to school [5]

 

Denmark

Primary schools reopened 15.04.2020 [6]

Desks are 1.8m apart [6]

Start times have been staggered [6]

Parents are not allowed in the school building [6]

Try to teach outdoors [4]

 

Norway

Primary schools reopened 27.04.2020 [5]

Maximum class sizes of 15 pupils [5]

Most children kept in smaller groups [5]

 

Belgium

Maximum of 10 students per class [5]

Open from 18.05.2020 [5]

 

Italy

Schools remain closed until September[6]

 

Germany

Reopened [6]

Students need to be 1.5 metres apart [6]

Reduced class sizes [6]

Desks spaced apart [6]

Teachers of 60 and those that are vulnerable are told to stay home [6]

Hallways are one way systems [6]

Teachers to wear masks [4]

Students and teachers can be tested twice a week [4]

 

Australia

Schools opened in a staggered fashion [4]

1 class or quarter of the students from each grade [4]

 

Ireland

Schools shut until September [6]

These blogs may also be of interest – for lockdown related educational blogs:

Top Ten Resources To Support Remote Learning During Lockdown

Top Ten Tips for a remote interview

Top Ten Reasons why Seneca Learning is awesome.

Trivium Tutor Time Challenges (tutor time activities part 2)

Which measures do you want to see in our schools?

Sources

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/lockdown-eased-netherlands-and-france-plan-to-re-open-primary-schools

[2] https://www.thelocal.fr/20200421/what-we-know-about-frances-plan-to-reopen-schools

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52556245

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/world/europe/as-europe-reopens-schools-relief-combines-with-risk.html

[5] https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-when-will-uk-schools-reopen-and-what-can-we-learn-from-europe-about-how-it-will-happen-11983528

[6] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52575313

 

 

 

 

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