Last Updated on November 24, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Lockdown Impacts Parent-School Relationship, Leading to Calls for Improved Communication and Behavior
The relationship between parents and schools has undergone a significant transformation during the lockdown, according to school leaders and experts. As lockdowns and closures persisted, the social contract between parents and schools became fractured, raising concerns about the impact on children’s education and overall well-being.
Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England, highlighted the consequences of the pandemic-era lockdowns on the traditional notion of unquestionable school attendance. Spielman claims that these disruptions have made it increasingly challenging for some families to rebuild good habits and establish regular routines.
An alarming trend noted by headteachers is the increasing unresponsiveness of parents to schools’ requests. Some even resorted to private social media forums to launch attacks against teachers and school leaders. Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, supports Spielman’s observations and emphasizes the additional pressure and stress faced by school leaders and staff when dealing with challenging parents.
In Kent, teachers at one school recently went on strike due to deteriorating behavior and safety issues. Concerns have also been raised by the National Education Union, calling for a zero-tolerance approach and fixed exclusion tariffs for assaults and threats of violence against staff and pupils.
Tom Bennett, an adviser to the Department for Education, stresses the importance of listening to teacher strikes and improving behavior in schools. He argues that local authorities’ pressure to avoid exclusions impedes progress in tackling behavior issues effectively.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought about changes in middle-class attitudes towards school attendance, resulting in high absence rates. Term-time holidays no longer carry the same stigma they once did, contributing to increased absences.
Spielman warns against the use of part-time attendance as a long-term accommodation, as it can hinder children’s education. The Labour Party has recognized the threat posed by persistent absence and plans to prioritize behavior and attendance in the coming months. Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, aims to rebuild the relationship between families, schools, and the government to drive educational standards.
In conclusion, the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic have had a profound impact on the relationship between parents and schools. As a result, there is a growing recognition of the need for improved communication, behavior management, and collaboration among all stakeholders involved in the education sector. Efforts are underway to address these concerns and ensure children’s educational opportunities are not compromised.