Response to reading

The inequity within education has never been more apparent to me as during the lockdown period. In my position as a peripatetic inclusion teacher, I have been able to see the disparity in what was offered by schools and what was accessed by pupils.

Armand Doucet advocates a Maslow before Blooms approach and I fully commend this. During lockdown one of my key roles was to connect with referred children – a huge proportion with ASL needs, LAC status, PEF funding etc.
Technology has come on rapidly in recent months, along with our reliance on technology in order to meet, teach, report and interact. With that, local authorities must be able to keep up with this progress and provide technology for staff to be able to use in order to interact and provide remote learning in the event of further lockdowns or blended learning approaches.
The impact on mental health throughout was significant, for all concerned (parents, children, practitioners etc). Personally I balanced the needs of my children (a newborn, a 3 year old and an 8 year old), alongside returning to work following maternity leave and working full time. It was not an easy time for anyone and if these days return I believe more support/ more realistic expectations should be available for practitioners and families.

5 thoughts on “Response to reading”

  1. Hello Kirsty

    Thank you for your reflections – I hope that you are well and beginning to enjoy a well earned break. I read your comment with great interest – when you talk about the disparity about what was offered by schools and what was accessed by pupils – could you share a little more of that? what would have helped do you think? Contingency plans are being refreshed all over – your insight would be valuable.

    1. I work in inclusion so we have a fairly small number of pupils referred to us, around 40-45 children across a team of four teachers and one PT. As a group we divided up the pupils and then offered weekly phone calls in order to support individual children and their families. This was optional for families and we ended up with about 15 families opting into getting these scheduled phone calls. Because our children are based across various schools and I developed positive but informal relationships with ‘my families’ I was able to judge the difference in what was offered by schools in my LA by what they told me. Some spoke of being overwhelmed with work, some spoke of being unable to find any work to do, some spoke about being unable to get their children to do anything that had been given.
      What we offered was quite flexible including posting work to children who hadn’t been able to access from their school, offering feedback, supportive phone calls, texts emails etc, and organising for particular children to attend local hubs – this had been in response to a carer’s plea for support.
      My son’s school (he is p5) was pretty good, lots of things on glow, a couple of phone calls, they set up Facebook Groups for parents to access work (as some struggled to access Teams), they organised technology for some families. The head teacher even managed to organise a new freezer for a family whose freezer had packed in (a donation from Greggs I believe) and they hadn’t been able to access another. One of the teachers even showed up on Easter Sunday with Easter eggs (delivered to the doorstep).

      1. Thank you – this is fabulous ! I love that you have that insight into the differing contexts – thank you for sharing that. I am hearing that you work very closely with your families and this was very effective. You have responded very much to their needs – listening closely to what they require at that time. You are so proactive! I love the new freezer – that sounds like an incredible thing to do – something which will be remembered by the recipients.

        Many thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Heather,

    It was really interesting to read your thoughts about the readings. I totally agree that lockdown has highlighted inequality at all levels within schools. It was also interesting to note that you have also noticed the impact this has had on the mental health of pupils.

    Fortunately our pupils have settled back in really well and mental health issues have been minimal. However, in some cases there has been an obvious correlation between mental health and inability to partake in home learning due to a number of reasons.

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