WORLD UK parents welcome reopening of schools

WORLD

UK parents welcome reopening of schools

By BO LEUNG in London | China Daily

10:43, March 02, 2021

The reopening of schools on March 8 in England will be a relief to some parents who have been juggling working from home and home schooling during the national lockdowns.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he joins a reading lesson outside, during his visit to St Mary's CE Primary School, ahead of reopening of the primary and secondary schools across England planned for March 8, in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain on March 1, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Dad-of-two David Lawrence from Durham has found home schooling "extremely difficult "since the start of the first lockdown.

"My wife and myself have both worked throughout the pandemic, from home in my case, so finding time to balance the need for work and taking on the responsibility has been an almost impossible task," he said. "The children however have coped well and have been in the fortunate position of having each other and being close in age which have helped any isolation issues."

But Lawrence said it's hard to find the time to get his children, who are aged 6 and 7, to complete their work.

"The children are at an age where they need to be managed through the work and cannot just be set away alone to complete tasks," he said.

He added their school has provided work sheets and tasks, but "it ends there".

"There is then an expectation to complete the assigned work by a given date, which in our full-time working scenario isn't always practicable," Lawrence explained, adding there is also an expectation to complete a set amount every week regardless of circumstances.

Lawrence now fears lockdown home schooling might affect his children's education, but due to their relatively young age he believes "there is opportunity to make up for lost time".

Like other parents, Lawrence is eager for the children to go back to school soon.

A little break

"It will be a welcome break for both parents and the children and hopefully they can get back on track quickly. I will also appreciate removing the pressures of home schooling," he said.

Stephanie, 40, lives in west London and has been home schooling her 5 and 10-year-olds as well as taking care of a 6-month-old baby. She found it difficult to maintain a home-school schedule with her children.

"Since they are spending more time at home, the responsibility of teaching falls onto parents," she said. "It was difficult for us to teach the 2 kids, given that we have a 6-month old baby in the house and my husband works long hours. We are worried that they might fall behind when they are back to school."

While she has struggled during the pandemic, she did say the experience has brought her family closer together which is a "silver lining".

Schools in Scotland began a phased return on Monday, with the youngest pupils heading back to classrooms first.

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