COVID-19: lambasting parents who send children back to school will make divides worse - expert comment29 May 2020
Prof Carol Fuller, from the Institute of Education at the University of Reading said:
"The ‘should I or shouldn't I?’ debate about sending our children back to school has really hotted up with the imminent opening of schools; with those planning to send their children back to school feeling attacked and demonised. It's interesting that the rights or wrongs of this conundrum fail to explore the underpinning fears that likely explain the different choices parents make.
"For those wanting to send their children back to school, it will reflect a great deal of anxiety about their capacity to home school their children. Certainly, not all parents have access to big gardens, laptops and computers as well as the confidence to support the differing subject areas that children need to cover.
"Teaching is a skilled profession, and so it is unsurprising that so many parents find it a struggle to keep their children focused and engaged and so have real fears of their children falling behind. We should be careful then, when we lambast the parents that do chose to send their children back. Doing so simply exasperates socio-economic divides and fails to consider that for most parents, their children are their most precious commodity and so are never wilfully put at risk.