Mum of two says possible school closures ‘heartbreaking’
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Mum-of-two Yousra Elsadig stressed that the prospect of being told of school closures in the new year would be a chastening experience for most pupils, who dread the possibility of having to learn remotely. Parents and children across Britain are in limbo while they anxiously wait for an update on what’s in store as a large outbreak of Covid cases among teachers increased the likelihood of remote learning. It now all hinges on whether sufficient teachers will be available, as months of uncertainties lie ahead for families in this country due to a high risk of absentees among staff members if they were to test positive for COVID-19 with the situation likely to change on a weekly basis.
But some of them may even be obliged to stay at home after testing negative because they may have no one to look after their own children.
As a result, a shortage of teachers or supply cover would translate into the cancellation of some classes, with children being left to their own devices.
Speaking of her own daughter to GB News, Ms Elsadig admitted that being denied the chance to go to school would be tough to take for her.
She said: “My eldest daughter in the GCSE loves school, she hates the holiday and she is always waiting for the next day to go to school.
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“And it would be heartbreaking if she doesn’t have to go to school again.”
For some families, not least parents of six-year-old kids who were not eligible to go to school at the time of the first lockdown nearly two years ago, a potential school closure would also mean a jump into the unknown.
But Ms Elsadig hopes that things will not conspire against children, highlighting how vital the “education” and the “experience” are for their development and growth.
She is also desperate for things to align from a parent’s point of view as homeschooling would give rise to issues such as childminding.
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“It’s a bit frustrating for some parents because everyone has to plan, childminding so it’s a bit of a dilemma for everyone and so we just hope for the best really.
“And I hope all the children get a fair chance to get the education that they need and the experiences that they need. “
Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, did not rule out consistent disruption until the end of the academic year.
He said: “Schools and colleges desperately want to be able to maintain face-to-face teaching on a consistent basis, but the reality is that if large numbers of staff are absent this will cause disruption, which may include having to send home classes or year groups for short periods of time to learn remotely.”
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Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Sunday, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced that face masks would be required in schools until January 26.
He added that, by and large, it was a decision he decided to make after holding crunch talks with experts following a steep rise in Omicron cases and following a study in 123 schools that proved that masks made a massive difference.
He said: “The painful lesson we learnt was when children weren’t in school, the impact on their mental health and, of course, their education, was quite substantial.
“Which is why I’m so determined, as is the prime minister, to make sure education remains open and children are in the best place when they’re in the classroom, with their friends, learning in front of a teacher.”
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