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OPINION: Why we shouldn’t send our children back to school back on June 1

PUBLISHED: 21:21 24 May 2020 | UPDATED: 21:21 24 May 2020

Writer Ruth Davies with her family

Writer Ruth Davies with her family

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Norfolk writer and mother-of-three Ruth Davies says her instinct is to keep her children safe at home for now

Should we send our children back to school on June 1?

Our Queen told us that we’re all in the same boat but I don’t agree. True we’re all living through this strange time, experiencing some of the same things, but it does rather have to be said that when it comes to boats, there are people in much smaller vessels than others. I suspect if you’re aboard a luxury private yacht then your experience may be different to those of us bobbing about in rowers and let’s not forget, a good portion of us will be simply clinging on to a piece of drift wood, hoping the storm isn’t such that we drown.

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The idea of schools re-opening is an inviting prospect and for those of us doing our best Leonardo impression it probably feels like a life line right now. If you make the decision to send your children back then demonise you I will not, though this is not what I will be doing for my family. My instinct as my children’s mother is to keep them where they are for now. Keep them home and not send them out to be guinea pigs testing waters for Boris.

There will be few ramifications to six weeks more at home and it will prove no threat with the virus. I guarantee that but no one can guarantee safety at school – teachers have been thrown into the water with three weeks to plan, one of those being their half term. This is for a monumental operation in an area of expertise they don’t necessarily own. A little longer and more educated choices can be made with potentially safer plans and, who knows, perhaps even a change in circumstance.

I’m under no illusions as to how fortunate I am or how easy it is for me to be able to say my children will stay home until after summer. We have a house big enough to cocoon us but also give us space, a garden for fresh air and we live on the edge of the most beautiful countryside. I know how lucky I am because I have lived with two children in a two bed flat without a garden and I do know that in the best of times that could be stifling. I understand some of our boats will be feeling right now like they are trying to sink us entirely.

So all any of us can do now, as good parents, is make the best decisions for us and our own families. As good parents this is all we ever do for our children, it’s all about love and as long as we have that we could be aboard the tiniest plank of driftwood possible - it will keep you afloat.


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