Back to school is looming, however, this time schools are having to remove any Covid safety measures they had in place. Not all parents are ‘excited’ about sending their children in, as the media portrays.
Many will be refusing to send their children back, or even deregistering as I have already done. Here are the views of some parents I know who aren’t happy with the school situation and won’t be sending their children in.
My Own View
After many months of agonising and a lot of sleepless nights, I finally decided to home educate my daughter and deregister her from school in March 2021.
When the schools started back in September 2020, the infection rate increased rapidly, it was obvious it was the schools that were contributing to the spread of Covid.
There was a media blanket silence and constant propaganda by the department for education insisting that schools were “the best place for children” and that they were “covid secure” when they obviously weren’t.
We took part in a parent strike on November 5th 2020, yet nothing has changed…
Here we are in September 2021, with daily infection rates of the highly transmissible Delta variant at over 30.000 a day, (worse than last year!) and the government are removing bubbles, masks and social distancing in schools!
School is not an option for us. I refuse to let them expose my daughter to a dangerous virus. I deregistered to avoid getting threats and fines.
I don’t want my daughter attending an unsafe school
My unvaccinated, 10-year-old daughter goes to a special school where there are no protections against airborne Covid at all. The class sizes are small, but there is no physical distancing and no mask-wearing. The windows will be open with caveats: only “a crack” so no one jumps out, and only if it’s warm enough for windows to be open.
There has been no air quality assessment when the classroom is full, and there will be no CO2 monitor. I have offered to donate a CO2 monitor and HEPA air filter to the school, which has been refused. Over the summer holidays, I have sent many emails volunteering to help improve air quality in the schools, and these emails have gone unanswered.
I’m very nervous about the return to school with such high rates of community transmission. Although my daughter is physically healthy, she has severe learning difficulties. So when it comes to Covid, she is in a higher risk group.
Since the first wave when I caught Covid in a clinical setting, I’ve struggled with Long Covid. My asthma is ten times worse than it used to be. I also suffer fatigue, headaches, immune and digestive problems. So I am aware of the life-changing consequences that Covid can bring. So, I also want to keep my health from deteriorating even more. My daughter needs me now and will need me well into adulthood.
I would like the UK government to…
• Stop fining parents for keeping children at home during a pandemic
• Allow all parents who can remote school their children while infection rates are high.
• Fund our schools adequately to make them as Covid-secure as possible.
• Bring transmission down in our communities.
• Educate the public properly about aerosol transmission
Enhanced cleaning of surfaces does not cut it when dealing with a highly infectious virus that spreads via the air we breathe.
My GF is on immunosuppressants and also has RA. Her 10 yr old son’s school is not putting in any mitigations, no masks and anyone’s child can go to school even if a family member is Covid +ve.
I help my parents out and they are both extremely vulnerable. So from Monday if her son goes into school I will have to move out as we can’t risk him bringing Covid back to the house. It’s a nightmare situation unless we take him out of school.
Daniella Modos Cutter
These past 18 months have been heartbreaking to see my child miss out on so much because of the government’s failure to make schools safe.
Daniella’s son has special needs and epilepsy. Daniella is clinically vulnerable, her husband has some learning disabilities and also has epilepsy. Daniella has kept her son out of school for the entire pandemic and will not be sending him to school this September.
Back to school – not everyone can ‘learn to live with it’
My family are all clinically vulnerable. I have an autoimmune condition and my son is still waiting to be fully vaccinated. It has been over 17 months now and he has just had his first dose.
There are over 55,000 children in the same position who are now only partly vaccinated because JCVI dragged their heels all summer, even though it was given safety approval in July.
Many more children who are vulnerable remain unvaccinated. Yet with the new self-isolation rules, a clinically vulnerable child who was shielding can still sit next to a child who is covid positive. Testing isn’t mandatory and children can come into school if their parent/sibling has covid.
At the moment I feel the government stance on Coronavirus measures is very risky for vulnerable children and their families. There are no mitigations in place in schools, they have removed masks and bubbles. Covid-19 is an airborne disease that no amount of disinfecting tables can keep our children safe. We urgently need Hepa air filters in schools.
With over 200 deaths currently a day, I hardly feel that we are ‘learning to live with it’, ‘learning to die with it’ might be more appropriate.
Earlier in the year, it was mentioned that even if children became ill and were hospitalised on ‘some oxygen’ that they would quickly recover. My son was born extremely premature and was ventilated on oxygen for over 4 months.
Seeing your child on either ‘low flow’ oxygen or ventilated is a traumatic experience for any child or parent to go through. I would not wish anyone to go through this experience.
Viruses like Covid can cause airways to become inflamed and put our children at greater risk of developing asthma and other respiratory conditions. In the UK currently, over 71 children have died and there were well over 1,000 paediatric hospitalisations in the summer.
Not all of these children were clinically vulnerable, the Delta unlike the Alpha is affecting more children than the previous variant. I also have concerns that the government is not taking into account the risk of Long Covid in children.
There have been studies e.g.Biobank which showed brain damage occurring in even mild cases of Covid. Other studies have shown links to Dementia, Diabetes and loss of IQ. Isn’t it better that we take a precautionary measure now with schools than risk our children’s long-term health?
What About Long Covid?
Although we are told that children aren’t affected by covid, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even children with mild infections can develop long covid. Currently, one in seven children may still have symptoms 15 weeks after getting infected. That’s a pretty high number!
Hopefully, the government will realise that they need to make schools safe environments. In the meantime, I and many others refuse to put our children at risk.
You may also be interested in reading: How do I deregister my child from school UK? and 8 Fun Homeschooling Resources.