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Schools are not closed. They closed to SOME children…and some children need to be in school.

I have spoken to so many people this past two weeks who are struggling with lock down this time round, but more importantly (to me that is) is that they say how much their children are struggling with this lock down. Children, with no sunshine to play in and such are feeling lonely. I have asked some parents would they put their children in school if they were offered a place and all said yes. But said that their child is not vulnerable or not a key worker child so they can’t.

Here is the government definition of a “Vulnerable child”

Vulnerable children and young people

Vulnerable children and young people include those who:

  1. are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child

  2. have an education, health and care (EHC) plan

  3. have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:

  4. children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services

  5. adopted children or children on a special guardianship order

  6. those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)

  7. those living in temporary accommodation

  8. those who are young carers

  9. those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)

  10. care leavers

  11. others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Look at the list.

So we have those with agencies such as social services and those in care. These children, of course, get a place.

Those with a EHCP…yep…agreed

But let’s look at points 9 and 11

  1. those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)

Does this apply to your situation? If you’re working from home and have other siblings at home, doe this not apply to you?

If your laptop/computer is running so slow its painful and is making learning at home hard for you and your child…does this not apply to you

Point number 11 is the most interesting….

  1. others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

So…if your child is feeling the impact of this lock down, just as so many of us are, they are missing the routine, the classroom based learning…why should they not be offered a space.

If you’re looking at your child today thinking. I’m worried, they need to get out of the house…this is effecting them in a negative way…

Then pick up your phone and call the school and talk about the above point.

Because the schools are not closed.

Nope

The schools are NOT closed until March. They are closed to SOME pupils.

The schools are staffed. Staff are going in, many full time.

Key worker children and those classed as vulnerable, these children can attend school.

The staff that work in schools apparently can’t be furloughed.

So if you work in a school and you have no child care…and you can’t be furloughed you HAVE to take the key worker space and put your child in school.

Social distancing still applies and your child will not be going into a “Normal” environment

But it is structured and it will feel more like school.

This blog is not bashing anyone or to cause trouble

This is for all the parents out here right now who are scared that their child’s mental health and/or wellbeing will suffer if they have a few more weeks like this. Who are watching their child change before them and have no idea what to do.

Schools…. please…make a list of these children who may not come under services but would benefit from being in school, and this would help support their mental health and wellbeing. Ask your support staff…they will know who those students are…. Call parents. Ask how they are. Ask how they are coping. I know a woman who is doing this daily and she is maybe the only person who has asked that mum “How are you doing”.

School is not closed. It is closed to SOME children…and some children need to be in school.

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