As a teacher to children with autism, I can see how imperative it is that schools stay open. A lot of services and activities children would have attended previously, never started back after the first lockdown, so school is an essential part of their routine and structure. All children thrive in school, and obviously education is so important, so it absolutely makes sense that efforts must be made to keep them open.
HOWEVER, we need support in doing this. I can guarantee you that the playground on my estate ( which is very small) will be packed this weekend and every day after school if they are allowed to remain open during this lockdown. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter loves the playground but we bring her at 9am in the morning when there is no-one there! We won’t be bringing her during stage five.
I just feel that if children are mixing and with their friends during the school day, then with the way things are, they really don’t need to mix in the evening too. It undermines everything schools are trying to do, all our efforts to keep our schools safe and covid free will be pointless if children from all different schools are playing together in the evenings.
Obviously childcare and after schools don’t fall into this category as they are essential services, but apart from that let’s just pull all this mixing back a little! I am hopeful that the dark evenings will help matters too.
Most teachers I have spoken to want to be in school, online teaching is no walk in the park either. We want to teach, to keep children in school and to keep some form of normality for them, but we need support in doing this. Please, from an exasperated teacher, keep your child in for the next few weeks or at least keep their social circles small if you can’t.