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  • Writer's pictureSarah Northwood

Why I won’t be sending my child back to School just yet

Updated: May 19, 2020

Firstly, I want to stress that this is not a political post, or one meant to shame any parent who has a difference of opinion. I felt it might be helpful to offer up some thoughts on how I came to my personal choice regarding this exceedingly difficult decision. I am in the lucky position of being able to make a choice about whether to send my primary school child back or not. Not everyone has that option.

With that being said, making a decision like this is an emotive one, and is for all of us the first time we’ve encountered something like this in our lifetimes. I have the advantage of coming from a safety and science background, so I can at least make sense of some of the information that is about. But it doesn’t take long to do a quick google search and see that there is evidence and persuasive arguments for both sides of this particular coin.

For a while I felt conflicted about making a choice. As a parent any decisions involving our children’s welfare are tough. We’ve all had to make a decision for our children at some point that has caused extra wrinkles or grey hairs to appear. But I don’t know about you, I’ve never had to consider the effects of an ‘invisible virus’ before.

So, how did I come to a resolution?

I was incredibly impressed by the information, risk assessments and procedures our school had put together in handling the return. It was persuasive in terms of wanting to send my child back. I know the social element, normality and routine would be of benefit.

Where I found my clarity against returning to school was in the ways I could not personally assess the risk. We cannot know what other parents’ personal situations are. There is uncertainty around how others have been able to handle lock-down and the requirement to isolate.

Next, we know from the data tracking that it may take several weeks to see what the effects of this first wave of lock-down release are. This would help to give us more insight and allow a more informed decision.

Finally, the normality these children will be returning to is not as it was previously. For many adjusting to this new normal may cause stress. I feel strongly that more teachers are being asked to return to work without the option of having a choice. These teachers are often parent’s themselves. I don’t want to increase their risks anymore than is absolutely necessarily.

The lock-down in the UK was about stopping the virus, helping the NHS and protecting our vulnerable people. I believe we all have an obligation now to consider our teachers and all the support staff as we move forward.

The views expressed in this blog post are intended to be an expression of my own opinion only.

Sarah Northwood, is an award-winning multi genre fiction author from the UK.

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