Does the reality of post-lockdown classrooms meet expectations?

As memories (and questions!) about home learning begin to fade, Parent Ping topics are becoming more eclectic. In this week’s blog we report on post-lockdown classrooms, Covid-19 tests for families, what you are looking forward to when Covid-19 restrictions end, and friendships. But don’t worry, we have one little nugget on home learning left to share with you too!

1. Post-lockdown classrooms

Source: The Sun 06/03/2021

Hopefully your children are back in school now, but what safety measures are schools putting in place to ensure they stay there? An image published in The Sun last weekend prompted a Pinger to get in touch to ask which of the measures in the picture parents expected to be in place, and which were actually in place.

Your expectations and your reality were pretty closely aligned, with most of you reporting hand sanitiser and open windows in classrooms.

Having partitions between and in front of children’s desks seems pretty low, both in terms of what you expect and what is happening.

2. Covid-19 tests for families

One new addition to the school day – for children in secondary school at least – is a regular regime of Covid-19 testing. Government advice says “all households with children of school age to get 2 rapid COVID-19 tests per person per week” but many of you in households with primary aged children aren’t doing this. Some of you got in touch to say you didn’t know about the government advice and some said that they were not able to access tests due to shortages… we’ll look into this more next week.

3. Looking forward to the end of restrictions

You could be forgiven for feeling, with schools being back, that lockdown has ended. Indeed, for children who are now able to see their friends everyday in some ways it has ended for them. But the reality is, schools reopening is just step one on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. So, what are you looking forward to once it really is over? Overwhelmingly you are looking forward to meeting friends and family outside your household. Also high on the list are seeing grandparents, play dates and holidays.

4. Friends

As many of you are looking forward to seeing your friends again, we took a look at who you are friends with and it turns out that most of you have “parent friends” and that for two-thirds of you, parent friends make up at least half your social group.

Lots of these friendships have come about following your children making friends. Friends that you had before children (who you count as parent friends) seem to drop away a bit as the kids get older, as do friends you made when you were pregnant (although not as much as we thought it might!)

And also...

Half a billion* pages of home learning work were printed in homes across England during lockdown. For kids who were home learning during lockdown, around a third didn’t print anything (either because their school didn’t set work that needed to be printed or they didn’t have a printer at home). For those that were printing, most printed fewer than 25 pages a week. BUT, spare a thought for the 4% of parents who were printing over one hundred pages a week!   

*Our ‘back of a fag packet’ calculation took the average number of pages for each response category, multiplied this by half the number of school-age children in England (because we asked per family not per child), then multiplied this by 7 weeks of home learning.

Coming up next week

Whilst the Big Lockdown Learning Parent Survey has ended, we hope that those of you that joined us for this research will stay on and keep Pinging! Next week we have questions on exercise, mental health and more questions on Covid tests. All these topics have been suggested by Pingers, so if you’ve got ideas about what you’d like to see please do get in touch!

As always,  don’t miss a question… Download the app and set your notifications to PING every day!

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