General News

How safe do parents feel about their children returning to school?

As schools grapple with the almost weekly changes to government guidance on keeping children safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, WPA Education Welfare Officers continue to fully focus their attention on ensuring students and parents are up to date on the re-introduction of attendance legislation.  However, what happens to those children of parents who are now considering home education as a result of not feeling comfortable about sending their children back to school during a pandemic?  A recent survey carried out by Oxford Home Schooling found that 22% of parents said they were nervous about their child returning to school for the new autumn term.

It is, perhaps, unsurprising to learn that there has been a rise in the number of parents choosing to home educate.  The Telegraph published an article at the beginning of September stating that some colleges had seen a 60% rise in the applications for online learning courses.  Whilst this will work successfully for some, there is a sense that those more vulnerable families may ‘fall between the cracks’ and not receive the education support they deserve.   As the government demands more safeguarding measures from schools for those students learning remotely, what additional measures are being introduced for those families, whom we suspect, are likely to struggle with the pressures of ensuring their children are achieving their full potential?   Will we see them again and will their vulnerability have increased in the time they have been away?

Our Education Welfare Officers are working alongside Head Teachers and Designated Safeguarding Leads worried for those families who fall just out of the social care system and with whom we, in partnership with our schools, have worked hard to build strong and positive school/parent relationships, now, facing the prospect of seeing these children fall out of the school system. 

We have been successful in supporting schools in creating strategies and options for them to offer parents to help build their confidence in sending their children back to school, with many parents now reassured as a result.  

For more information about how WPA can support your school or academy please contact us on 01689 843322 or click here for our contact form.

Written by Claire Erridge
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