People are often surprised when I tell them in one breath that I am a homeschooling parent but in the next breath I talk about supporting our schools. I have a child at home being homeschooled by me, and I also have a child in the school system. One child is thriving at school, one child is thriving at home. I think even if I didn’t have children in schools, I would be supportive of schools. I have friends and family who teach, or work in education, and I know how much hard work they put in, to their jobs and the children they work with. I have issues with certain aspects of the UK education system, but we have a system that is free to all who access it and that mostly does it’s best to provide an education for children.
My teenager returns to school next week after an extended period time at home again, due to Covid19 and lockdown take 3 in the UK. She has been distance learning via school, again, something I am grateful for, because whilst I am not phased with homeschooling our son, she is 14 and pre GCSE and that is not a stage I am ready to face yet. Her school has worked very hard to provide learning and teaching over a long period and we have no complaints about that.
In order for her to regurn to school, she and her peers face what is being termed “mass covid testing” and mask mandates are in place
In other words, she has to have Lateral flow covid tests at school and then we will carry them out at home regularly. She will also have to wear a mask, at school, for most of the day.
I am strongly in support of this. I feel as a parent, that I really want her back in school. As much as online learning has been fine, school for her, and for many other children is the best place for her to be, to learn, to flourish, and to have some normal life back.
If rapid lateral flow testing has to happen to facilitate that, then that is what we will support. If mask-wearing means she is protected and is protecting her peers and teaching staff that little bit more, then we will support it. The tests work faster than sending a swab to a laboratory and indicate is someone may be infected with Covid19 and need to isolate to protect others from infection. School children may not get as sick as adults when infected with covid but they can spread it and testing may help prevent spread.
The media and a percentage of the population have tried ot make out that making children have covid tests at school and wear masks is form of abuse.
As soemone who works in an area of safeguarding , I can cheerfully tell you that a few covid tests and wearing face masks for a period of time is NOT abuse.
I agree it’s not pleasant. I agree it’s not much fun. If I don’t want her to have to stick swabs in her nose and throat, and I don’t want her to have to wear masks but my view is that if these things mean our children can go back to school and stay in school then that is what we must do.
As a parent. I make sure my child does her homework , I make sure she goes to school, I make sure things are paid for that she needs, I make sure she has correct uniform and any issues that arise with school (rare, because she is, despite being a teenager, so far, proving to be much less hard work than her own mother was at that age, ahem) and for this next stage I have tried to be as upbeat and positive about covid testing and masks as possible to reassure her and also for her to feel confident the school is looking afger her and that it’s not that bad.
I can say first hand that it really isn’t. I have seen how mass testing in school works and whilst it’s not the nicest thing they will ever do in their school careers, it is quick, painless and over in a few minutes. People arguing that making children swab themselves for covid is cruel and not needed forget that our children also have vaccines (paindul, can make you feel a bit crappy for a day or two) some children have regular hospital visits where they have medical procedures carried out on them and in the grand scheme of things, this is really nothing to worry about. No one is holding any children down and ramming things in them, and there is no abuse or fear around the procedure. It’s all run efficiently with cleaning and infection control in place and everyone is protected as far as possible.
As a parent, I feel it’s my job to back the school in this. So after a converstation with my teengager, I signed the consent form for her to be tested at school and when they send tests home, we will do them. She understands the why, and she has had a Covid test before so she is familiar with the process and whilst she isn’t thrilled, she has had to deal with far worse things, having been in hospital herself.
She will also be wearing masks. She is asthmatic but she has learned to wear a mask, and the rare times she is struggling with feeling wheezy she will not wear one, but for the most part she will wear one. I want her to be protected from Covid and also to be aware of protecting others.
The outcry about making teengagers and older children wear masks being cruetly doesn’t wash with me either. People wear masks all day every day for various reasons and whilst it takes getting used to, it’s not cruel. In the UK we don’t make children under 11 wear masks. In other countries they do. Also, contrary to what the armchair warriors on social media will tell you, wearing masks does not cause cancer, oygen deprivation, fungal infections or other issues. I am not sure who people who make these claims think surgeons, nurses, doctors and other people who wear masks manage. I myself worked in an area of medical care where I wore a mask for the better part of my working day every day. I am still here, ranting happily away on this blog.
I am delighted to be sending my child back to school nect week. I am backing the school’s need for covid testing, and for her to wear a mask.
I strongly feel that if you want your older child back in school, that you should too. It’s not forever, it’s not permenant (again, please don’t let the social media “experts” tell you it is) and it’s really, when you look at things, not the worst thing our children will face. If you are worried about the tests, how it happens, or what happens, then speak to your school, and ask. for information. Having seen how they are done, I am also happy to talk about it too.
Supporting our schools to get our kids back safely and keep them there is not just about the schools doing the work it’s about us parents backing them too. This too shall pass. We can make it pass more easily if we want to.