Open primary schools or the country will suffer

Open primary schools or the country will suffer

Getting primary school children back in class as soon as possible is imperative or the progress made in the country’s education since 2010 will be lost.

New research suggests the link between the spread of Covid 19 and primary schools is tenuous.

This is why I would urge the government to ensure that primary schools open fully on March 8.

It was just over six years ago when reforms were made to the curriculum, which fostered significant improvements in numeracy and literacy in young children.

PISA rankings for 14-year-olds in these key subject areas indicate that England and Wales have been doing much better over recent years and climbing up the table.

However, the interruption in primary schooling, which has straddled two academic years, will necessarily reverse that trend unless schools re-open and an extra effort is made to ensure the children catch up.

The effect of lockdowns in Scotland will be even worse because the country was already slipping down the PISA rankings following the SNP’s 2010 curriculum changes, ironically called ‘Curriculum for Excellence’.

It is clear that children with good foundations in numeracy and literacy do much better in secondary education because they can build on these skills.

If you’re going to succeed in any subject area in secondary education you must have good literacy and numeracy.

Teenagers in England and Scotland are the products of their primary education and the PISA rankings do not lie. The SNP have pursued a more progressive route which their misappropriately called ‘Curriculum for Excellence,’ whereas the curriculum reforms in England were a return to a more traditional approach ensuring that key skills were taught at primary level. The results speak for themselves.

The new study from the University of Warwick found no significant evidence that schools played a major role in the spread of Covid-19 in the autumn term, especially primary schools. The problem was more marked in secondary schools.

Furthermore, schools have become adept at making their premises Covid safe.

For these reasons primary schools must fully re-open on March 8 if we are to maintain our position in the international rankings.

Other countries, including France, have kept their schools open and we are in danger of falling behind.