A headteacher has said ‘none of her staff have needed persuading’ to come back to work next week, and that although they’re ‘scared’ amid the coronavirus crisis, they ‘want to do their job’.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced the phased reopening of primary schools in England will begin as planned on Monday, with reception, year one and year six pupils the first to return to classrooms.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Worcester primary school head teacher Bryony Baynes discussed the decision with child psychologist and education expert Laverne Antrobus, from North West London, and parent Ben Anderson, from Kent.
Bryony explained that her staff have been ‘brilliant’ throughout lockdown, while Laverne, 53, said that children are ‘incredibly adaptable’ and she feels they’ll adjust quickly to changes made to enable their return.
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Appearing on Good Morning Britain, head of a Worcester primary school Bryony Baynes (pictured) said ‘none of her staff have needed persuading’ to come back to work next week
Child psychologist and education expert Laverne Antrobus (pictured), from North West London feels children will adjust quickly to changes made throughout the pandemic
The teacher said: ‘The whole period has been difficult for everyone, staff, parents, children. My biggest job is reassuring parents, reassuring staff and reassuring children.
‘Although it is new, it can still be safe and fun and exciting. They don’t need to feel they’re coming into something that will be scary.’
When quizzed on her staff’s reaction to the decision, she said: ‘To be fair my staff have been amazing.
‘I haven’t had to persuade anyone and they’ve been brilliant. We’ve been open right the way through lockdown and we’ve have had staff on a rota. I’ve had no staff refusing to come in.
Boris Johnson announced the phased reopening of primary schools in England will begin as planned on Monday,and the panel discussed whether they feel comfortable with the decision
Laverne has appeared as a child consultant for Channel Four and BBC and agreed that young students are flexible to their environment
‘Obviously they are concerned and one of my teaching assistants said “I am scared, I am anxious, but it’s my job and I want to do it”. It it’s about recognising staff will be anxious.’
Laverne – who has appeared as a child consultant for Channel Four and BBC – agreed that while the crisis means a different class system will be in place, young students are flexible to their environment.
She told: ‘I do think children are incredibly adaptable and what they will be walking into is a different class system, but they will be walked through it and told “This is how we do it now, together”.’
She added: ‘Actually I think they will quickly adapt and as far as I’m aware, the teachers I have spoken to won’t be wearing PPE – unless they’re doing particular jobs around the children.’
Ben Anderson, Kent, told that because of the constant stream of communication from his son’s school, he feels more comfortable sending him back
Also joining the panel was parent Ben Anderson, whose son Arlo is set to return to school, and he said that because of the constant stream of communication from his son’s school, he feels more comfortable sending him back.
He told: ‘With Arlo were 50/50. A lot of our confidence has come from consistent communication with the school. They explained that while changes will be happening, it’s not completely drastic.’
Speaking of reports that strict social distancing measures will be in place in primary schools, he went on: ‘At our school we aren’t expecting anything as scary looking as that.
‘Throughout the lockdown period Arlo has been aware things are very different, we’ve tried not to overwhelm him with information.
‘He is keen to go back, excited to see his friends and we felt – given the steps put in place at our school, we felt comfortable to do that.’