Primary schooling?

On Wednesday I asked on our primary school’s school/PTA Facebook page if there was a plan to have video lessons now there’s no realistic prospect of a return to school before September.

Instead of publicly engaging they replied via a Facebook Messenger message.

Their focus is now on ensuring levels of staffing so those eligible to physically attend school remain safe, and they’ll email the other parents in the next few weeks to inform us about the transition up to the next year.

In the next few weeks

We’ve only a few weeks before term would end anyway.

Incidentally, the only outbound communications with parents since the lockdown began have been via Facebook. The school has a messaging (email, text) service as part of their payments system.

No, I tell a lie, there was a message sent via the service. It asked all parents to ensure they’d paid their bills for school meals, before and after school clubs…

So I replied:

Hiya! I’ve tried to keep [my youngest] to a timetable, motivated enough to do lessons and she’s been great, not needed too many bribes at all! However, my question started with Zoom/Teams video lessons – actual teacher participation in lessons.

*Weeks* ago we found that a friend’s daughter ([3 towns away]) started Zoom lessons the first day of the national lockdown, and today I heard of a school (local-ish, I didn’t ask) providing 5 Teams lessons *per day.*

It would be fantastic to have someone available for the years not catered for by current plans, it’s an awfully long time to go without *any* teacher contact.

I’ll be physically back in work in a week and a half; the adjustment to working at the dining room table was hard enough and took way too long for me to balance the needs of family and work. I’m not a teacher though.

Lots of words, sorry, but I’d love to hear of more substantial plans; transition’s going to be too late.

Ta, stay safe.

I’ve heard nothing back since Wednesday. I now know that I left it too late to ask the question; I now know that, at least at this school, years 2, 3, 4 and 5 are now adrift. The head’s going to be riding the rest of this school year out and accepting praise from most other parents for the fantastic work she’s done.

They have set lessons on an online educational platform they use, they have directed us to BBC Bitesize web site and the Oak National Academy web site, and to other online resources, of course they have. But meh.

I feel I should say at this point we’ve had other issues with the way the school has managed my daughter’s care in very specific areas but, short of involving the local education authority, we’ve gone as far as we can internally.

At this point I really don’t wish to talk about my oldest daughter’s high school; as well as only setting lessons and having no video/direct teacher involvement they don’t even respond to emails sent to the main contact address.

Well, maybe I’ll attempt to get things off my chest here when they contact us about an upcoming meeting with her teacher and the form – the opportunity to ask questions.

Oh, and be given a lesson on wellbeing.

Three fucking months after the start of lockdown!

They too will likely be congratulated on the fantastic job they’ve done.

One final thing, the only teaching department to give a flying fuck about my oldest daughter completing all the lessons the school has set is Mathematics. Not a single other teaching department has cared enough to offer up ‘Conduct’ points, not one. Given the ignorant, unsupportive arseholes I had teaching me maths from my first year in junior school right the way through technical college, I have to say my preconceptions have been utterly destroyed. To be fair, I did well in high school CSE maths, but I cannot recall the teacher so I’m throwing them under my bus too.

And yes, I’ve asked the school to comment on the lack of points and teacher participation. That, again to be fair, was Friday. To be unfair I’ve had no reply to Wednesday’s email asking about a specific point mentioned in their latest impenetrably-wordy newsletter. Hey, at least my blog posts have paragraph sizes one can pause for breath between!

Oh yes, I’ve been careful to mention what I see teachers failing at; our related circumstances, though not unique, are private.

As I said, at this point I really don’t wish to talk about my oldest daughter’s high school.