As schools return, we must prevent children from losing out any further

Editorial: Young people have suffered enough from the effects of the pandemic. They deserve a normal school life now

Saturday 28 August 2021 21:30
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<p>Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, must make sure exams can go ahead next year </p>

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, must make sure exams can go ahead next year

As schools return – those in Scotland are already back – there is some nervousness that this will lead to a rise in coronavirus infections, presaging another difficult winter. As we report, the government’s committee on pandemic modelling, SPI-M-O, has said: “It would be sensible for government to plan for this eventuality.”

This is one of the scientists’ less helpful pieces of advice. It may be that the best way to plan for this eventuality is to press ahead with making school life as normal as possible.

Our view is that, unless there are clear and present dangers, we should mean it when we say that young people have suffered enough, and when we say that we should stretch every sinew to ensure that they receive the best education possible. For the overwhelming majority, this means being back in class with no bubble-related disruption, and sitting public exams next year.

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