It's back to home schooling after government u-turn

After just one day in the classroom, it's back to home schooling for local primary school pupils following a government u-turn due to rising cases of Covid-19.
Headteacher of the Richmond School Mrs Caroline WellstedHeadteacher of the Richmond School Mrs Caroline Wellsted
Headteacher of the Richmond School Mrs Caroline Wellsted

The news came amidst the announcement last night by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of yet another national lockdown.

Yesterday (Monday) most primary school pupils across England started their new term in the classroom following reassurances everything had been done to keep them safe

And there were congratulations for our local schools later in the day from some parents who were glad to see them re-open.

Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School preparing for home schooling.Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School preparing for home schooling.
Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School preparing for home schooling.

Among them, Laura Jackson, whose children attend Beacon Primary, said: "My girls have really enjoyed there first day back. Both came out smiling and had loads to tell me to.

"I'm very pleased with how the school is dealing with things.

"I take my hat off to the teachers for doing so well."

Headteacher of the Richmond School Mrs Caroline Wellsted lost no time in informing parents and carers of the changes in a letter on Twitter. It was a massive disappointment for her after spending the weekend consulting staff to get all year groups back.

Avah-Mae Law home schooling.Avah-Mae Law home schooling.
Avah-Mae Law home schooling.

Outlining the new guidelines, she said: "Following the announcement the Richmond School will close to all pupils except those of key workers and those classed as vulnerable.

"All other children will need to access the on-line learning using Microsoft Teams.

"Families who are in receipt of free school meals will receive details of food parcel delivery or collection.

"We hope it won't be too long before we can open our doors to all our children once again."

Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School starting lessons at home.Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School starting lessons at home.
Avah-Mae Law of Wainfleet Magdalen School starting lessons at home.

Mum Shelley Law said she was 'over the moon' about the decision. Her daughter attends Wainfleet Magdalen Primary and she said: "I had no intention of sending my daughter back anyway.

"I had already informed the headmaster as still had all her home learning stuff from last time.

"As I am classed as vulnerable and have to shield she didn't return after the summer either.

"So, yes, I am happy and I know it will also be a relief to other parents who were also worried about sending their kids back but were also scared of being fined if they kept them off.

"I just wish the PM had done it sooner and had been more strict with it from the very start, including no flights, boats or trains in or out of the country, unless supplying food or medical supplies.

"We wouldn't be in half this mess now if he had."

Her daughter Avah-Mae Law, aged 9. was preparing to start lessons at home and said: "Although I miss seeing my friends at school I feel safer home because.

"The news makes me worried about going outside."

Chris Thompson, president of the Lincolnshire branch of the National Education Union, said closure of the schools was the right decision

He said: "I am very relieved that all schools are to go to online teaching with only children of key workers and vulnerable children in school.

"The fact that schools will be asked to run online until February was a big surprise, but I assume this reflects the extent of the crisis. I am disappointed and very confused as to why this decision was not made last week.

"Parents must be pulling their hair out at the chaos of the last few days, but now at least they now have some certainty.

"This is definitely the correct decision. Schools moving online will greatly help slow community transmission, protect our over stretched hospitals and save lives.

"All school staff now have a huge amount of work getting ready for these changes, again at very short notice and something that could have been avoided.

"I am particularly pleased that the government are to reconsider the GCSE and A level exams at the end of the year. My thoughts go out to students that are studying these exams for this year have been affected to a far greater extent than those last year. Many schools run trial exams at this time of the year which will only add to their stress. I only hope that they are treated fairly.

"I am also relieved the rushed introduction of mass lateral flow tests to Secondary schools will now be suspended. I am not convinced it is appropriate to ask educators to run these tests, but I can see now how the tests can help schools now they have time

"To move forward I really do hope that now all those involved in schooling and education, school leaders, the county councils, the government and the unions, can work together to ensure the disruption of the past few days can avoided in the future.

"Always darkest before the dawn, hopefully soon normality will return."