Carrington Primary School

A ten-year-old boy from a primary school in Nottingham says he is not very excited about returning to the classroom but looks forward to not having any more conference calls with his teachers and peers.

For Dennen, a year 5 student of Carrington Primary School in Nottingham, the move to home learning was difficult. His mother’s former job made her a key worker but he was reluctant and still is hesitant about returning to school.

“I don’t really want to go back to school. I’ve got used to lockdown and being at home. I can get through my work really fast now. I can’t wait to not have any more Zoom calls because I found them quite boring.”

Students of all ages across the UK are preparing to return to their educational institutions from March 8. This includes primary, secondary and college pupils but a staggered return for secondary and colleges over the course of a week has been allowed so that mass testing can be carried out.

Reopening schools is a major part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions.  Boris Johnson stated on February 22: “Classrooms are the best place for our young people to be and that’s why I’ve always said that schools will be the last to close and the first to reopen.”

AUDIO: Dennen talks about why he does not want to return to school

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the teachers’ union the NASUWT does not agree entirely with the government’s decision to reopen schools so soon. He said: “Vaccinating education staff can be done now if there’s the political will to do so.”

He added that it was really frustrating that teachers were not being prioritised where mass testing and vaccinations were concerned.

Dr Roach also said in a statement: “We will be examining carefully the government’s latest guidance for schools and colleges. With new and more transmissible Covid variants identified, the government has to recognise the need for stronger workplace mitigations and control measures which are mandatory and backed up by effective enforcement and inspection.

“This would play a key role in winning the trust and confidence of many parents and the workforce in schools and colleges.

“Effective ventilation monitoring and ensuring that classrooms are not overcrowded is vital if schools and colleges are to ensure that they are safe for pupils and staff.”