Please take part in this urgent ‘Call to Action’ by copying and pasting the text below and sending to your MP and listed copy addressees. If we don’t do it, they will think we are all happy about the announcement.
To your MP AND
Re: School closures
I am deeply concerned to learn that schools are closing once again with no clear exit strategy in sight. The future of a generation is at stake, and I am asking you today what action you, personally, as my elected representative, plan to take to avert this impending disaster for our children.
I understand that the pandemic response necessitates trade-offs. However, children are being disproportionately harmed by these interventions. In August the Chief Medical Officer acknowledged that the long-term harms to children of school closures were certain, including:
Loss of educational outcomes with millions of children now well behind age-related expectations
Detrimental mental and physical health effects (67% of children during the last lockdown have suffered with their mental health since school closures and a quarter suffered with their physical health)
94% of vulnerable children were not in school during the first lockdown and many slid out of view altogether
Remote learning was a resounding failure for millions of children
The gap between advantaged and disadvantaged widened impeding life chances
Incidence of domestic abuse increases
Every week these harms to children will mount up- some will be irrecoverable. There needs to be a cast- iron guarantee that schools will reopen fully. We have now seen almost a full year of disruption to children and their schooling causing lasting damage to their welfare.
Can I ask you please, as my elected representative:
What will you do to hold the government to account for schools to reopen?
How do you plan to advocate for children’s wider health and welfare? Will you press for an effective mitigation plan that addresses damage to their educational outcomes and mental and physical health? Current catch-up programmes are shamefully insufficient.
What will you do to help ensure that more parents do not lose their livelihoods because of home education responsibilities?
What will you do to ensure a clear and unambiguous exit from this harmful intervention and safeguard schooling for the future?
I urge you to do everything in your power to defend our children’s human right to an education, we must all speak for those who have no voice