Written evidence submitted by J Walters
- I am the father of three boys aged 12, 14 and 16. They all attend a state secondary school.
- When the GCSE’s where cancelled, the school told my 16 year old that there was nothing more they could do for them and sent them home. Since mid-March he has had a couple of emails with some suggested reading lists and some bridging work for A-level subjects. Hopefully, he will return to school in September to start his A-Levels, but this will be after 6 months of no schooling and little direct interaction with the outside world.
- Both my 12 and 14 year old boys, who are in school year 7 and 9 respectively, have been receiving between 1 and 4 hours of school work a day with little to no teacher interaction. Most of this work has been provided in the form of slide presentations, pdf files, word documents and some third party videos. Some teachers have made the extra effort to add some voice overs to their slides which does add value.
- The second term of year 7 is when the children really settle in to secondary school. What is the impact going to be to the year 7 children of losing the second half of the school year?
- As far as I can understand it, there appears to be a significant amount being discussed regarding primary school and disadvantaged children. There seems to be very little being discussed around the average student who attends a state secondary school.
- Based on talking to many parents, some state schools are providing more lessons and teacher interaction than my boys are receiving but private schools are providing close to a full timetable including a significant amount of video lessons. This means that due to the coronavirus the gap that exists between state educated children and their peers, who are privileged enough to be attending private schools, must be growing.
- The long term impact of the lockdown on all of us, but especially the children must be considered. The limited teaching, the growing gap between state and private educations, the lack of social interaction, the loss of the experience of state exams (A-Levels or BTEC exams may be the first official exams they sit) must all be part of this consideration. The examination bodies need to consider the longer term impact on the results these children obtain.
- State secondary schools need to be provided with the resources they need to ensure that;
- these children can return to school as soon as possible.
- there is the opportunity to catch up on lost education.
- any mental health issues due to the lockdown can be supported.
- the children are fully supported to achieve their potential both for the good of the individual children and the long term economics of the UK.