Schools are essential services, like healthcare and the provision of food. And yet, millions of children are being treated as forgotten victims of this pandemic because of the Government’s decision to shut down schools, which is destroying their education and damaging their future prospects, as well as impacting their health and welfare.
OFSTED says that “children have gone backwards” across the country, whilst UNICEF argues that “the benefits of keeping schools open far outweigh the costs of closing them” and that “nationwide closures of schools should be avoided at all costs.”
The schools shutdown impacts most on society’s most vulnerable children who are already suffering disadvantage. It increases the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers – a gap that is “widening by the day” according to the Social Mobility Commission – and has a devastating impact on social mobility.
UNESCO has found that the schools shutdown is “particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalised boys and girls and their families,” and the Children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, warns that “the education divide is broadening” and that “almost a decade of catching up on that education gap may well be lost.” There couldn’t be a stronger call to action for us all.
Children are our country’s next generation of scientists, health workers, engineers, business leaders, educators and parents. The Social Mobility Commission warns of a “disaster that will unfold” if we “do not learn our lesson, and yet again fail to plan for the long term.”
The decisions being made today will affect all of our futures – children’s future prospects, and our country’s long term future and prosperity. Please, therefore, join the call from UsforThem that Government should reopen schools immediately or publish the work it has done to quantify the harms caused to children by the shutdown so that MPs, parents and the public can be reassured that this measure is doing more good than harm.
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My name is [YOUR NAME] and [YOUR ADDRESS]. I would like to speak about the damaging impact the schools shutdown is having on children and the Us for Them campaign, which I am calling to support today.
[Okay. Do you have any more information which I can pass on?]
We all agree that schools are essential services, like healthcare and the provision of food. But millions of children are being treated as forgotten victims of this pandemic because of the Government’s decision to shut down schools indefinitely. This is destroying their future prospects as well as impacting their health and wellbeing.
Leading independent organisations agree, from OFSTED to UNESCO and from UNICEF to the Children’s Commissioner for England.
Will you join the parents’ campaign Us for Them in calling on Government to reopen schools immediately or publish the work it has done to quantify the harms caused to children by the shutdown so that MPs, parents and the public can be reassured that it is doing more good than harm?
Thank you for your time. Please visit www.usforthem.co.uk if you want more information. I would be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss this with you further.
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