Express & Star comment: Schools must be safe

When the nation went into lockdown, sensible voices began a conversation about its costs.

Schools must be safe
Schools must be safe

While it was absolutely the right thing to do and while the nation really ought to have gone into lockdown a week or two weeks earlier, thereby saving tens of thousands of lives, there were additional matters to consider.

Lockdown brings with it enormous social and economic costs. These are being felt now in the mass number of job losses and business failures as a trade-free summer leads many to the dole queues. The costs are also felt in the loss of opportunity and the negative effects on mental health. Such costs are never higher than among our children.

Schools and getting ready to go back to school. There is cross-party support for such with Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer united on the need for youngsters to be back at their desks.

Other countries have shown it can be done with limited risk. The risks to health for youngsters are considered small while adults can take social distancing precautions.

Schools must put in place systems and teachers must ensure they work safely with each other but it is also important that parents play their part by acting responsibly with social distancing at school gate.

Most of all, parents should be reassuring their child that it is right to return to school and that they will benefit from getting back and catching up.

It is important that children can mix with their peer group, without being cooped up 24/7 in their rooms, with only computer games for company. Such a lifestyle is distinctly unhealthy and causes a loss of learning from which some will not recover.

The A-level and GCSE results fiasco has reminded us how important a good education is and so youngsters must not return to school and study hard to achieve their potential. The infection rate will be monitored and should things descend, appropriate steps will be taken.

Carelessness is not necessary. Schools can and should re-open safely so that youngsters can attend and benefit.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News