Social Distancing is Here to Stay

Schools are going to look very different in September. We’re yet to hear from the PM when schools are to reopen - but that opening will be limited.

September is the time for schools to focus on.

Social distancing is here to stay.
My dad had TB before streptomycin was available in 1949, so he always kept his distance from anyone with a bad cough.
And he was doctor.

As a child in the 1960’s we were constantly reminded that”coughs and sneezes spread diseases”.

And so here we are again.

I envisage that in September all school classes will be limited to 15 pupils, spread out 2 metres apart.

Staff and students with coughs and colds will be told to stay away.

Outdoor exercise will continue much as before but there will be limited close contact in sports such as rugby.

Indoor sports- if social distancing can be maintained- should be ok too.

Squash- maybe not.

There will be a lot more online lessons and zoom meetings ( with parental permissions granted)

Most independent schools have this pretty well covered already- small classes, extensive playing fields, excellent online learning facilities.

But many state schools are multiply disadvantaged.

How do they teach 30-35 pupils the same lesson at the same time if 15 students is the maximum permitted number in a room?

The facilities and staffing will militate against this happening.

And how will state school children get their exercise with limited outdoor facilities and enforced social distancing?

This is where independent schools can and in my opinion should step in.

Offer free use of classrooms - if available.

Offer free and supported online learning packages.

And finally make the extensive playing fields that many private schools enjoy available to state schools.

A lot of these initiatives already exist, but now is the time for independent schools to take a lead  and, despite the inevitable and understandable reservations of some teachers, make it happen in ways never attempted before.

Children have to be educated- and homeschooling can’t continue much longer.

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