Coming back to school will help pupils wellbeing and mental health, with safety measures in place to protect people's health.
Schools are reopening the doors in UK for the start of the new term, despite of Covid risks. Parents, pupils and teacher are ready to return to old habits, which may boost their wellbeing.
Covid, all you need to know about schools reopening
The school may look different with new safety measures in place to avoid the diffusion of Covid. Teachers will help the students in face up those changings.
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, 62, the Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group in Somerset is a leader who contributed to build a safe environment. “If you came into my campuses you’d see the one-way system, you’d see all the sanitisers, you’d see the counselling service, you’d see the ability for us to check temperatures, but behind that are the individual learning plans for each student. That’s where the crucial planning really takes place“, he declared. Then added: “We’ve increased the number of mental health advisors and support workers who are here, we’ve put a massive investment into all levels of additional learning support at tutorial level, mentoring and one-to-one teaching. I’ve doubled the amount of cleaners in the college – I just need to be assured that everything we do is protecting everyone.”
Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari, a parenting expert and author, is convinced that going back to school will help pupils mental health. “I’m not worried about the academic gap, because I think kids will pick up very quickly. But it’s starting to affect their mental health more and more, so it’s good that they will be back in school from September,” claimed Dr Ben-Ari. He also declared: “Children are not designed to sit down all day. They need to be out in the fresh air and moving their bodies. It’s so important for children of all ages to interact with their friends face to face for communication, and non-verbal communication. Kids at home have spent a long time on screens while parents are working and they don’t have the resources to entertain and teach their children at home. Spending more time on screens will have affected their mental health: it increases anxiety, especially with children who are a little bit more vulnerable to it“, he concluded.
System of controls in schools
Then Viv Bennett, The PHE’s Chief Nurse, said: “Parents can be reassured that to maximize safety in schools. An extremely stringent system of controls has been advised by PHE and is published in DfE guidance. Evidence so far indicates that schools do not appear to be a primary driver of Covid infections in the community. Globally, children and young people have been found to experience coronavirus asymptomatically or as a minor illness.”
NHS Test and Trace system is in operation and rules to follow in those cases are more clear. Children who have symptoms such as a fever, continuous cough or loss of taste and smell should remain home. In case of school outbreaks, local health protection teams will join school staff to decide further actions. There is no need to close the entire school.