Great Britain

Covid school closures will be seen as one of the pandemic’s biggest scandals

IT'S likely we will look back at the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 one day and decide one of the biggest and most unnecessary scandals was the way it robbed an entire generation of six months of education.

Thankfully, the horrors of this disease have largely left them well alone. Children and teens are statistically more likely to die in a freak accident than of Covid-19.

But there is a great irony that their lives have been put on hold far more than at-risk older folk.

So ,I welcome with open arms the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's clear pledge for a broad and balanced return for all schools from September.

I have no fears about the safety of children being back.

Education unions have acted disgracefully, putting their extreme left ideology ahead of what's best for our kids over the past few weeks.

It's provided a boom for inequalities in our society, given posh kids at posh schools have kept getting posh classes via posh technology. Whereas disadvantaged kids from poor families are lucky to have been sent one worksheet a day.

My worries are centred on what sort of education they'll be going back to.

Suggestions of strict behaviour regimes, bubbles of year groups, rearranged desks in classrooms, no choirs or assemblies, constant testing of entire schools and a preparedness to consistently have to shut down after just two cases hardly feels like the best environment for our young folk.

Orders to improve online learning so pupils are able to keep being taught in the event of local outbreaks are absolutely essential.

We are in 2020. There cannot be another scenario like this ever again; one where education is stopped dead in its tracks.

Our youngest generation deserves better. Our great teachers do too. And so do parents up and down the country who are pulling their hair out at having to try and work while becoming a full-time teacher at the same time.

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