COVID-19: Schools are for education, not childcare20 May 2020
Dr Naomi Flynn, Associate Professor in the Institute of Education at the University of Reading, said:
"The heated arguments over whether schools should or should not open on June 1st need to abandon their erroneous focus on schooling as childcare.
"The fact that when children go to school they are someone else’s responsibility during the school day is a valued by-product of education, but it should not be part of the argument for opening schools in any hurry.
"One primary school headteacher who is preparing her school for post-half-term opening told me she is ‘inventing a plan which feels like writing a risk assessment for a game of Russian roulette sanctioned by the government’.
"The purpose of schooling is education. Teachers are not child-minders. Yes, the economy needs re-starting. Yes, of course, children and young people need to get back to school. But conflating schooling with childcare, in a vitriolic discourse against teachers, sets a dangerous precedent that diminishes the extraordinary work that teachers do.
"How quickly ministers seem to have forgotten that teachers are among those workers who remained at the front line during the worst weeks of the COVID 19 crisis, and continue to do so."