Schools are closing, aren’t they? Just tell us the truth

Our children have had two years of ups and downs – they need consistency, and parents need to plan for lockdowns, writes Lauren Crosby Medlicott

<p>‘For working parents, leaving school closures until the last minute completely disrupts childcare provisions. If we can plan, we at least have some degree of control.’ </p>

‘For working parents, leaving school closures until the last minute completely disrupts childcare provisions. If we can plan, we at least have some degree of control.’

Just days before the end of the school term, we had a letter from my children’s primary school telling us that children should come back to school two days later than initially expected, to accommodate for teachers who will need additional planning time in case of another lockdown.

Every parent I spoke to had assumed the same thing: at some point very soon into the new year, schools will close again. As cases of Covid rise and the NHS continues to beg for relief from escalating numbers of patients, why don’t we bite the bullet and accept schools will be closed following the Christmas holidays? Announce it now and give children, parents, and professionals a chance to wrap their heads around the idea.

Perhaps you are someone who thinks another lockdown is nonsensical. Or maybe you see why it’s necessary. Whatever your thoughts may be on lockdowns, I think most people agree – children often bear the brunt of the effects lockdowns present. Even children from stable homes feel the strain of not having a daily school routine, not seeing their friends and teachers every day. We know children thrive on routine, realistic expectations, and boundaries. By leaving it up in the air about whether or not they will get to return to school or not in January, we allow their little minds to grow anxious with the unknown.

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