Parents are mad at school principals who told their kids to play in the snow instead of taking online lessons from Zoom.
With large parts of the UK being hit with snow by Storm Darcy, some school principals took it upon themselves to call a “snow day” for home school students, cancel online lessons and tell children to go sledding instead.
One headmistress boastfully said she did not attend to the reaction of already pressured working parents, many of whom are having difficulty dealing with home schooling as it is. Another even suggested that working parents who complained about the move were “ungrateful”.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education today refused to criticize school principals for the move, saying it was up to them to make “sensible” decisions about online learning. But the parents were angry and asked: Can the teachers bend down even lower?
The dispute comes amid a major conflict between the government, teachers, unions and parents over how and when to fully reopen schools after the lockdown. Boris is Johnson who is currently setting March 8th as his return flight date.
The Presidents of the Council today asked for more students to be home-educated as classes for key working-class children who are still receiving face-to-face teaching are currently “overloaded”.
Meanwhile, the UK’s largest teachers’ union was accused last night of “hijacking” the coronavirus crisis to press for salary increases and long-term perks while the education of millions of children was shipwrecked.
With large parts of the UK being hit with snow by Storm Darcy, some school principals took it upon themselves to call a “snow day” for home school students, cancel online lessons and tell the children to go sledding instead (Image: A child enjoying the snow at Farthing Common today)
One headmistress who called her online students a “snowy day” was headmistress Clare Greene of Eastcote Primary Academy in Bexley, London.
She wrote on Twitter: “I’m looking forward to a snowy day. Online study assignments include making a snowman and having a snowball fight. ‘
Storm Darcy is wreaking havoc on the UK’s ice rink streets: police are warning people not to travel as vaccination centers and schools close again as six inches of snow will fall today
Storm Darcy wreaked havoc on the streets of the UK this morning as weather experts warn that there might still be six inches of snow on the trail today, along with a -7C cold.
Police have warned people not to travel because of the dangerous conditions on the roads while some schools and Covid vaccination centers are being closed.
It comes when the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning that up to six inches of snow would fall later in the eastern parts of the country.
In Suffolk, police helped after a white van driver crashed into a tree near Stowmarket after coming off the road in snow
Aboyne, Aberdeenshire already had depths of 30 cm, Andrewsfield, Essex 23 cm and Manston, Kent 14 cm.
Stirling and Perth in Scotland continue to face a yellow warning today, increasing the risk of a power outage in the area, while rural communities with delays on the roads could likely be cut off.
The icy conditions in Glasgow were captured by passers-by overnight as they filmed cars losing control at the top of the hill before sliding onto other crashed vehicles.
Temperatures dropped to -8 ° C on Monday when a “bitterly cold” weather system broke in from Ukraine and the Black Sea.
They are expected to hit -7 ° C today before dropping to -12 ° C overnight in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. In some parts of Scotland, temperatures as low as -15 ° C prevailed overnight.
Covid vaccination centers in parts of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk closed their doors.
Hundreds of schools that were previously open to children of key workers closed yesterday due to snow and will remain closed today.
Disruptions have also hit rail traffic. Southeastern is advising passengers not to travel and Greater Anglia expects disruption by noon.
A foot of snow has already been reported in Tendring, Essex, while deviations of up to three feet have been reported in parts of East Anglia.
To a tweet about another online snow day, she replied, “The distance learning tasks will be: build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight, and show me a picture of a snow angel. I’m sure a parent will complain, I just don’t care. ‘
The school is run by the Leigh Academy Trust, which has been requested to comment. But the trust told MailOnline that the school was open yesterday.
In a statement, they said: “The school was open yesterday to children of key workers and vulnerable children, and the absent children were taking distance learning from home as usual.
“While we would never stop children from playing in the snow at home, we wouldn’t promote it as an alternative to taking part in online learning.”
The trust the tweet added was on an account unrelated to their work and not meant for the parents.
In a thread of tweets, other school principals also rushed to praise the schools for stopping online learning due to snow.
Sue Blyth, a principal at Fourfields School Community School in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, threw a blow to parents who had complained about the decision at their school.
She said, “We did that too, and then some parents complained that because of their full-time work, they didn’t have time to let their children play in the snow! There was a decent Facebook moan!
“Fortunately, most of the families were grateful.”
Another, Ryan Forwood, a PE teacher, said: “Very proud that our school took this approach and also had a nice email saying please don’t feel any pressure to be“ on it ”today, and you want us to enjoy the unique weather with your family wherever you can. I thought that was great! ‘
Others praised the decision to quit online learning as “brave”. One, an English teacher, said, ‘A school in our area (not ours) called an old-fashioned’ snow day ‘and set the following tasks for the day: make a snowman; have a socially distant, good-natured snowball fight; Send in snow pictures.
“A brave head who has the well-being of its employees and students in the foreground.”
But amid the parents’ anger, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education appeared to support the teachers.
A spokesman said: “Schools and teachers are working extremely hard to provide distance learning while students study from home, and we know they have done an excellent job benefiting students across the country.
“Schools are expected to offer students 3-5 hours of distance learning per day, depending on the key phase, including time for independent study and either recorded or live teaching.”
When asked directly whether the department supported the decision, a spokesperson added, “We expect schools to make sensible decisions based on their situation and we expect some level of online learning to take place when possible is. ”
The “Snow Day” series came when Storm Darcy covered large swaths of Britain in snow, wreaking havoc on the streets of Britain, causing sports schools to close and forcing vaccination centers to close.
And weather experts warn that there might still be six centimeters of snow on the way today, along with a cold of -7 ° C.
The police have warned people not to travel because of the dangerous conditions.
Meanwhile, the Presidents of the Council today asked for more students to be home-educated because so many parents have asked to send their children to school during the lockdown.
A number of schools across the county are said to be oversubscribed due to the number of parents qualifying as critical workers during the third national lockdown.
In a letter that Jane Moore – Leicestershire County Council’s Child and Family Services director – sent to parents and carers for county students, instructing them to home-school their children when they can.
In the letter, she wrote: “Across Leicestershire we are seeing an increasing number of children requiring a local school place and in some places this is greater than the school’s capacity.
Single mom says she suffers from depression after being forced to send her son to school unpaid
A single mother says she suffered from depression after she was forced to send her son to school unpaid because her bosses refused to give her leave.
The mother, who does not want to be named for fear of losing her job, is one of more than 2,000 parents whose application for leave was rejected this year.
The job retention system currently allows supervisors to take leave of parents who cannot work due to a lack of childcare, while schools remain closed to all but vulnerable children or those of key workers.
However, it is at the employer’s discretion whether or not to grant them leave. This will give parents 80 percent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £ 2,500.
Almost 80 percent of working mothers who have wanted to take childcare leave since schools closed have been turned down, according to a survey by the Union Congress (TUC).
Meanwhile, around 90 percent had seen spikes in their anxiety and stress levels during the last lockdown – while nearly half were concerned about being negatively treated by their employers for their childcare responsibilities.
Employers are now being warned that if they refuse to take parental leave, they may face an impending “mental health crisis” and be guilty of sex discrimination.
Earlier this week, Analise La-Band – a graduate industrial psychologist and mother of two – announced that she had to quit her job last summer to teach her children at home as schools were closed during the lockdown.
Childcare issues are a compelling reason for employers to offer full-time or part-time leave to employees who are unable to work their contracted hours.
Thousands of fighting mothers are rejected by bosses.
A single mother from Hull said: “As a single mother, I had no childcare and I was concerned and my fear was not good. So I asked my company for a vacation.
“They refused at close range because they are still open and will not take on a cover person and also want to take me on leave.
“But if they did, the government would pay me, so I’m confused why this is not an option. But I’m more of a leave-alone person than a fighter.
“I worry about work all the time, and depression takes over my life.
“I think it’s not a difficult solution based on my circumstances, but I had to go to HR, but they told me similarly.
I am about to give up my resignation. That won’t help financially, but my son is coming [before] Job.’
“The key government message is to leave your child at home when you can, even if you are a critical worker.
“To help ensure the safety of students and staff, the Local Resilience Forum (LLR) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have created a guide for school leaders to ensure those in need of a place most have access to one.”
It emerged yesterday that the unions were pushing back plans to extend the school year in England when Boris Johnson pledged to do everything possible to help the children catch up.
The prime minister said putting student learning on the right track was the government’s “top priority” amid fears that the most at risk had fallen further behind during the pandemic.
The comments came after it emerged that ministers were trying to continue the summer semester for another two weeks, reallocating the holiday season to the existing breaks in the fall and winter.
Studying in the warmer months might be easier as windows and doors in school buildings can be kept open to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
A new study found that students with disadvantaged backgrounds found distance learning significantly more difficult than other students in the past year.
However, the unions have signaled that they will oppose the changes and insisted that parents “demand to get back to normal”.
During a visit to a vaccination center in Derbyshire yesterday, Mr Johnson said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson would soon announce a full catch-up plan.
“We now have to work at full speed as a country as a society to correct the learning loss that we had,” he said.
The expansion is being considered as No. 10 insisted that worrying news that AstraZeneca is less effective against the South African variant has not changed plans to return children to classrooms from March 8th.
Many schools across England will split up for the summer break on Friday 23rd July.
With a two-week extension, students would therefore continue to attend classes in the first week of August.
In a round of interviews this morning, asked if ministers were considering extending the summer semester, Health Secretary Edward Argar told BBC Breakfast: “It is perfectly true that Gavin (Williamson, the Secretary of Education) is investigating a whole range of things to see how we can ensure that the impact on them is minimized.
“But it would be premature for me to comment on what he might or might not announce.”
Boris Johnson said schools across England will not reopen until March 8th at the earliest.
The prime minister has announced that he will publish a lockdown exit strategy later this month amid mounting pressure from Tory MPs to push a return to the classroom.
Changing the school year is one of several options that are reportedly being considered by Number 10 as the government develops its plans to help students make up for lost time.
Government sources made it clear that no decisions have been made at this point.
However, there are reports that the two weeks of lost summer vacation could be added to the autumn half-year and Christmas vacation.
The government intends to continue the summer semester for another two weeks, with the vacation time being redistributed between the existing breaks in autumn and winter (file image).
During a visit to a vaccination center in Derbyshire yesterday, Mr Johnson said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson would soon announce a full catch-up plan
An extension of these holidays would also lead to a longer so-called “fire break” in the colder months and offer more time in the event of infections.
Unions accused of “highjacking” pandemic to push for pay hikes
The UK’s largest apprenticeship union has been accused of “hijacking” the coronavirus crisis to push for salary increases and long-term perks as the education of millions of children is shipwrecked.
The National Education Union (NEW) includes salary increases in its “key demands” and bosses have called for class size reductions to be “long term” – not just because of social distancing during the pandemic.
Union leaders congratulated their members on closing schools, claiming it was their threat not to show up for class, which led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to close schools in England in January.
The NEU was targeted by angry Tory backers after a “happy” email leaked from the union to its 500,000 members saying, “You did it!” the third national lockdown has been announced.
The union, which has called the pandemic a “turning point” in relations between teachers and Downing Street, has thwarted any government proposal to get children back into the classroom.
Now, in a five-point bulletin from Covid, the most important requirements for all workplaces for employees have been set out, in which a “permanent” and “automatic” salary increase is required, an end to job reviews during the coronavirus crisis, risk assessments, and additional Time to plan, prepare, and evaluate student work.
While policy work continues, research by nonprofit ImpactEd has again highlighted the harm to children’s prospects.
In his study, 62,000 students in England were monitored by the eighth month of 2020 to assess the impact of online schooling during the pandemic.
In their Lockdown Lessons report, it found that among disadvantaged students – those in schools eligible for the State Student Reward Scholarship – only 45 percent said they understood their schoolwork in lockdown, compared with 57% of other students.
In the survey, students were assessed against a range of measures, including their home learning environment, metacognitive strategies, and learning habits, to produce a ‘Covid-19 learning index’.
Students with disadvantaged backgrounds were found to have a 6% lower score than other students in their home environment and reported lower scores for metacognition, resulting in a significantly lower Covid-19 learning index of 3.21 compared to 3, 35 resulted in non-disadvantaged students.
“For all of these learning interventions and those related to wellbeing, students eligible for the Student Reward reported worse than average results,” the report said. Disadvantaged students also had 5 percent fewer points when asked about their resilience.
The report’s authors recommended that post-lockdown support be carefully considered to ensure that students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from it.
“If interventions don’t have the desired effect, they should be stopped,” the report said.
The survey also found that overall student wellbeing may not have been as affected as feared during the first phase of lockdown.
On a 35-point scale, the average wellbeing score was 23.8 in May, 24.1 in June, and 24.0 in July, compared to a pre-lockdown score of 23.6.
Students in Years 10 and 11 reported their greatest challenges with motivation, according to the survey, a condition that did not improve after the lockdown.
The Prime Minister visited a vaccination center in Derbyshire yesterday as the rollout in the UK continues. More than 12 million people have been vaccinated in the UK
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is looking at ways to help children catch up on the personal learning they lost during the pandemic
Boris Johnson has announced that schools across England will not reopen until March 8th at the earliest. This is one of the first easing measures to be relaxed
A quarter of KS4 students complained that they couldn’t get help from their families if they had questions about their schoolwork.
In addition, 40 percent of these students said they did not have a routine that helped them study. This is what the study found, which also found that students who exercise regularly were more likely – 58 to 33 percent – to report having developed a positive learning routine.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative chair of the Education Select Committee, told the Sunday Times that the change in school year is being considered by ministers.
He said, “We need to reform the school year. There has to be change; Things cannot go on like they did before Covid. After my conversations with No. 10, everything is up for debate. ‘
The Welsh government has already proposed to extend the summer semester.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that some private schools are preparing similar plans.
Some private schools are trying to bring the Easter holidays forward to have more time for the summer semester.
Geoff Barton of the ASCL school principals union said changes to the school year should not take place now.
He said, “It’s nice to think about doing things differently, and this is the time to rethink it. But anyone who tries to force it through this summer will find that people are just asking to get back to normal. ‘
Last week it emerged that ministers are also considering plans to extend the school day.
The idea is being pushed by some Tory MPs and the government is said to be receptive to it.
However, the teaching unions have urged ministers to reject the proposals, claiming that there are “better ways” to help students catch up on lost classroom time.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT School Directors Union, said, “Research shows that there are better ways to help students than lengthening the school day.
“The government has to filter out loud demands for superficially attractive systems and instead listen to the experts.”
Should the apprenticeship unions try to stand in the way of the move if the government adopts the proposals, volunteers could cover the extended lessons, according to The Times.
Downing Street said last Friday that the government is working with teachers and parents on catch-up plans, adding, “The Prime Minister admits that the closure of closed schools has had a huge impact on student learning, which is clearly taking time becomes.”
Mr Johnson refused to bow to demands last week to move schools back on track.